Agro-based Enterprises Change the Life Style of Mushahar Families

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The 63 Mushahar families of Golbazar municipality of Siraha district did not have their own land for cultivation. They were serving lives by working as wage labor. The money they earned was just enough to feed them every day.

During the time a project was developed to support these Musahar families with vegetable farming. Many were skeptical about the result it would bring. All (63) Musahar families of Musarniya, Bhangbaari and Nipane of Golbazaar municipality in the district were identified for commercial vegetable farming in 4.1 hectare of land where each family was allocated 0.06 hectare. The land was managed by renting it from Rs 1750 to 3000 for each Kattha. The cost varied depending on the quality of land.

The program is supported by CARE Nepal through CSRC and is managed by Forum of Justice and Equality Campaign (FOJEC). Uddav Thapaliya of FOJEC shared that the main purpose of implementing this project was to uplift the social status of Musahar community through economic empowerment. The initial days of implementation of this program were very difficult as the Musahar families were not enthusiastic about the farming. The land was made cultivable by putting cow dung and chicken manure. As per the plan eggplant and chillies were planted on April 4, 2017. The farmers were supported with rent, seeds, manure, pesticide, tools needed for weeding and spray tank. Technical input like time for weeding, spraying pesticide, irrigating was provided by FOJEC with the financial assistance of CSRC.

Lakhpat Sada said "Though I don’t have land I am happy with the earnings and continue to farm if no one supports me in future." According to Hira Sada, she earns about 32,000 by selling brinjal produced from the field.

A joint monitoring visit from Right to Food team of CARE Nepal, CDO of Siraha, LDO, DADO, DLSO, Engineer of Irrigation department and local journalist conducted to the site on June 11, 2017. All the participants of the visit were in awe looking at the progress and applauded the organization for providing land to these landless farmers. CDO Ramji Shrestha applauded the exemplary work saying CDO was ready to help the landless communities for their livelihood strategies. LDO Suresh Rawat said that these kind of exemplary work should also be conducted with the support of government.

Uddav Thapaliya of FOJEC said albeit he had assumed to earn Rs 100,000 from each household the flood swept away the vegetables. However, the Mushar community has decided to plant cauliflowers in the same field. Ashoj sada, one of the entrepreneurs of the farming shared that many people of Mushar community who wasted their times by playing cards in the village have engaged in such a productive work. The land which was taken as lease should be contracted for at least five years so that the Mushahar community would be sustainable through vegetable farming.