Lift irrigation resurrects agro business: Farmers of Matera village self-reliant

TULSIPUR: Purna Bahadur Chaudhary has been involved in agriculture for several years. He has made a decent income by growing Ridge gourd, grams, and beans. The 46-year-old stated “there years ago I started in an area of 2.25 acres of land. The first three years had low yield but I continued growing”.

Lift irrigation has now helped his farmland in order to multiply his yields. It increased 10 folds, and through this, he has now turned his business into a decent profit-making enterprise.

Chaudhary has 2.25 acres of land out of which he has utilized 1.25 acres to grow ridge gourd and the rest for grams and beans. He does not have to depend on the weather as the method of lift irrigation has helped in providing needed water to his crops.

His family has been able to raise their standard of living which previously was subsistence. Due to his upliftment, Chaudhary has also taken out time for politics and is an elected ward member in his area.

Utilization of both solar and electricity for lift irrigation purposes has been installed. The annual income is around 700,000. Previously there were seasons for agriculture but due to the availability of water all throughout the year, farming is done and crops are grown on a daily basis all throughout the year, this method is also known as pocket vegetable farming.

From the same village, 40-year-old Asthami Chaudhary has a similar story to narrate about her self reliance and income growth. She grew ridge gourd along with various vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, and coriander. She grew them and had sales in various festive and cultural periods of Teej, Dashain, and Tihar.

With all her expenses cut she managed to save NRs 500,000. She also opines that “it would be easy on us if the government specified the rates of the vegetables”. This is not only the success story of the two but over 140 houses in Matera village that have been involved in the field of agriculture using the left irrigation method.

The Babai River that flows close to their village is the source of water which is pumped 600 meters up through lift irrigation. It caters to over 20 acres of farmland. There is a thriving community of 120 families of Tharus has substantially benefitted from increase and involvement in the agricultural sector.