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Farmers embrace organic farming in Makwanpur

- PRATAP BISTA, Hetauda

Nov 13, 2017-Farmers of Makwanpur district are gradually getting attracted to organic vegetable farming, as demand for green produce is growing among the health conscious. Vegetables that are not laced with chemical fertilisers and pesticides are called green produce.

Earlier, most of the vegetables in Makwanpur were grown using a lot of chemicals. Chemical fertilisers and pesticides are not just harmful for human health but also reduce soil fertility and productivity of the land. 

Farmers of the district are gradually becoming aware of this fact, which has prompted them to minimise use of chemicals in their farms, according to Nirmal Gadal, head of the Agricultural Development Office, Makwanpur. 

Around 60 households in Aambhanjyang at Makwanpur-gadi rural municipality, for instance, are now cultivating chemical-free fruits and vegetables. These farmers have formed two groups: Prasiddhi Farmers Group and Jagriti Farmers Group. These groups of farmers treat their farms with vermicast—manure that is produced using earthworms.

These farmers are receiving subsidy from the Makwanpur Agricultural Development Office to produce vermicast.

The farmers produce vermicast in a pit that measures 2 metre long, 1 metre wide and 2.5 metre tall. Prasiddhi Farmers Group President Kedar Bajagain said all farmers in Aambhanjyang are now using vermicast in their vegetable farms.

It takes around three months to produce vermicast, in which organic grass and leaves are used. 

Although the use of compost manure has reduced vegetable production, farmers are happy because it is good for the soil, said Bajagain.

Last year, the Agricultural Development Office extended grants to produce vermicast and also provided half a kg of worms worth Rs1000 to attract farmers towards organic farming.

Today, farmers of Aambhanjyang are not only using vermicast that they have produced in their farms but are selling them in the market to generate extra income.

Vegetables, like potatoes, pumpkin stems, smooth gourd, cucumbers, produced by farmers of Aambhanjyang are now being sold in Hetauda. The response, so far, from buyers is good, according to farmers. Encouraged by this, the District Agricultural Development Office has started taking initiatives to transform Aambhanjyang into an organic village. 

The office has provided Rs25,000 to each household to improve the condition of animal sheds, collect animal urine and produce vermicast. Under this programme, cow and buffaloe urine is collected to produce pesticide. Also, animal sheds are being improved.

“Farmers here are really into organic farming now and are focusing on production of healthy food products,” said Gadal.

Published: 13-11-2017 09:01

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