published in FarmerFarming / Agriculture on January 30, 2018

SIX TIMES the harvest!

Imagine a piece of land the width of a cricket pitch, and 100 metres long (1/5 of a hectare).

Now imagine you have three children.

How would you go if you had to feed your whole family year-round with only what you could grow on that piece of land?

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After training from LWF Nepal, supported by the Lutheran family in Australia, farmer Srikrishni has been able to increase her harvest income SIX TIMES! Thank you!

That’s the challenge Srikishni Chaudhary from Kailali District in Nepal faced. No matter how hard she worked, she could only ever grow enough food to feed her family for five months of the year. Her wheat crop would produce 150kg, and her rice about 300kg.

This severe food shortage – getting worse as the local climate changes – meant each year Srikrishni’s husband would have to go to India as a labourer for big landholders. Even then, the family could barely survive.

Thanks to support from the ALWS family, working through Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Nepal, all this is changing.

Srikrishni joined a group of 15 farmers to receive training from LWF in a six month long Empowerment Education Class. They were shown how to cultivate vegetables in commercial quantities, including how to identify the vegetables that could be sold for the most profit in the market-place.

Now, Srikrishni grows cucumber, cabbage, tomatoes, bitter gourd and chilly.

She receives support from LWF experts in nursery-stocking, transplanting, diseases and pest management, harvesting, post-harvest storage techniques, and market linkages. She also received equipment like tanks and irrigation pipes.

The results are amazing!

In just seven months Srikrishni produced enough vegetables to not only feed her family, but sell in the market-place to multiply her income SIX TIMES! Her family now has food security all year round!

The group members have also started saving money together, so they can provide loans to expand their farms. Srikrishni and her husband have leased land to expand their farm to one hectare (five times what they had before), and no more labouring trips to India are needed! The family are very happy being self-employed and their own bosses.

Photo: LWF Nepal