Vijaychhaap village is about two kilometers from Khaniyakharka in the Sindhudli district. In Vijaychhaap village, there is a massive attraction of the youth in agricultural production. The village is already famous for its junar farming. The junar of Vijayachaap identifies the Sindhuli district as the district of Junar.
Farmers have faced many problems in junar and vegetable farming and animal husbandry, mainly involving buffalo and goats. Due to the unavailability of enough agricultural technicians and lack of agricultural training, timely diagnosis and treatment of problems related to farming and animal husbandary have always been challenging. Due to these problems, the vegetables could not be cultivated as much as possible in Vijaychaap. Moreover, this village has a leaning landscape and lacks a reliable irrigation system for agriculture.
According to Vakil Jung Thapa, 100 tunnels had been constructed in the village to cultivate turnips. But even in tunnel farming, the turnips got diseased and could not be cured. According to Thapa, if the vegetables are adequately treated, their production can be increased.
Som Kumar Karki is the leading farmer of Vijaychhaap. Under his leadership, a Junar Agricultural Cooperative with 40 members has been opened. All the members of the cooperatives have been saving at the rate of rs. 100 per month compulsory. Under the leadership of the same cooperative, 231 meters concrete canal has been constructed for irrigation proposal.
The total length of this paved canal is 2000 meters. The remaining length of the canal still needs to be cemented. The Samridhi Project has provided a 50 percent grant for the construction of this canal. And the remaining cost is managed by the member of the farmer group.
Irrigation management has significantly increased potato production in Vijaychap village. One household has produced up to 20 quintals of potatoes. Not only potatoes but also the overall production from vegetable farming has increased. Irrigation has helped to increase the income of farmers in the whole village. Thapa says, “We have enough water in our water source for 12 months, but no concrete canal has been built up to the source.”
Thirty-five members of this cooperative have received vocational training provided by Samridhi Project. That training has also brought them better skills in the field of agriculture. The training has also taught significant knowledge to the uneducated mothers and led them to mix in groups and make them able to speak.
Som Kumar Karki, chairman of the cooperative, says that farmers can mitigate the farm disease by cultivating vegetables by constructing tunnels. Karki says the cooperative earns rs 50,000 daily by selling vegetables and milk. Junar has been cultivated in the remaining land. Junar also has a good income during the season. Other than the vegetables and junar, there is also a lot of Kutmiro tree on this land which is used as grass for goats and cattle.
According to Vakil Jung Thapa, secretary of the cooperative, 40 members of the cooperative must build tunnels for compulsory vegetable production. Similarly, it is mandatory to keep buffaloes and goats in every household. Some of the members have even raised cows.
The cooperative group owns 50 acres of land. Potatoes, turnips, cauliflower, green onions, coriander, and seasonal vegetables are now cultivated in this land, providing a wide variety of greens to market. They have built 30 tunnels to grow vegetables, maximizing the yield and generating a good income from vegetables.
“The farmers of Vijaychhaap arrive at Sindhuli Bazaar in the morning with their agricultural products such as canned milk and vegetables and return home with a bundle of money,” Vakil spokes. He adds,“ If we can get a budget for that from somewhere, we can cultivate vegetables with canal water even in winter. Farming with a proper irrigation system would increase the income of farmers.”
The process of young human resources going abroad is increasing all over the country. But according to Secretary Thapa, not a single person has gone for foreign employment from Vijaychhaap due to this progress in agriculture.
Those who had gone for foreign employment a while ago have also returned to the village and engaged in agriculture. Not relying on foreign employment is another matter of identity and pride like junar farming for the Vijaychhap village. Considering the example of the Vijaychhaap village, there is no dispute that Nepal’s agricultural sector is making incredible progress, even if such progress is slow and usually comes from trials and errors. However, it is imperative for the government to create programs for the farmers and implement them effectively.