Farmers find leasing land to factories lucrative

Dhading, May 13

Huge swathes of fields have been left fallow in Dhading as farmers have found it more lucrative to lease their land to factories than grow vegetables.

Naubise area of the district used to export vegetables to the capital and other cities. The village, however, has started importing veggies from other places.

Locals at Naubise, Jeebanpur, Chhatredeurali, Thakre, Tarsapu and Goganpani, among other VDCs, used to grow green vegetables and fruits throughout the year in the past.

The village fulfilled more than 33 per cent of the capital’s total vegetable demand, as per the data available at Kalimati Vegetable Market Management Committee.

Farmers in the area have almost given up vegetable farming as they earn more by leasing their land to brick kilns and factories. “Pollutants emitting from the factories have hugely affected the fertility of the fields,” regretted Krishna Prasad Upreti, a local farmer.

Fresh pieces of bricks have been stacked in the fields, said Upreti.

Another farmer, Raj Dhungana, complained that the industries had adversely affected vegetable farming and polluted the environment.

VDC secretary Khem Bahadur Khatri said many locals were leasing their land to brick kilns and factories as they could earn more without hard work. “Opening factories is obviously a good thing.

However, it could cause irreparable loss in the long run if overdone. Most of the factories have been set up without environment impact assessment,” he added.

Ram Chandra Acharya, head teacher at Jeebanpur-based Bhuvaneshwori Secondary School, argued that none of the industries were set up by meeting the necessary criteria.

He accused that political influence aided haphazard establishment of industries.

The Department of Industry and local political leaders are to be blamed for this, argued Nepali Congress Naubise VDC chairman Dipendra Pathak.

Meanwhile, Pushpa Raj Regmi, proprietor of Thakre-based Everest Brick Kiln, claimed that the industries did not affect farming.