A group of local women has started turmeric farming in a community forest in Makawanpurgadhi Rural Municipality-5 of Makawanpur district. The Women Farmer Group started turmeric farming in the local Bungdal Community Forest, according to the CFUGs chairperson Mr. Chandra Prasad Dulal.
To effectively manage the women’s initiative, the executive committee of Bungdal CFUG has formed a sub-committee of forty women, with Ms. Radhika Chatkuli as Chairperson. The committee decided to allot about half hectares of barren land of the community forest for turmeric farming.
All members of the group, including its president, Radhika Chatkuli, are female. Women are indispensable in forest farming. Women attend meetings and make decisions themselves. They participate in trainings, bring seeds, plant them and harvest crops, all by themselves. They are responsible for all the required farm management. In all these activities, men only play a supporting role. This strengthens the women’s confidence and builds their capacity. Generally, forest farming has empowered women.
Similarly, social inclusion is being gradually addressed. Bungdal CFUG consists mostly of members of the Brahmin caste, while members of other castes are in the minority. However, the other castes have been prioritized either in the organization of local groups or generating participation in forest farming. The involvement of women from those communities has also helped in the prudent and sustainable management of farming activities.
Chairperson of Women’s group, Radhika Chatkuli said the farming was started with the objective to attract women towards turmeric farming and utilizing the infertile land. She said turmeric was planted in about half hectares of land. Eight quintals of turmeric seed rhizome were provided to the women’s group for the farming according to Chairperson of Bungdal Community Forest.
This is the first time the women’s group has started professional farming in the community forest in the Makawanpurgadhi Rural Municipality. The women were attracted towards the turmeric crop as the farming could be done with low investment utilizing infertile land. As other crops are more prone to be attached by monkeys and deer and other diseases but it is less attacked and damaged by monkey and the diseases as well said one of the women farmer.
“Plans are underway to extend the farming and making the turmeric powder to sell it in the market ,” Chatkuli said. Makawanpurgadhi Rural Municipality’s mayor Bidur Humagain said the initiative was taken as turmeric farms are easier to manage and also generates good income in the market. It will also augment the income source for women to ease the subsistence of their family.