January 26: Until a few years ago, Tharu women would be busy doing just household chores at Gardi of Madi Municiplaity-1, Chitwan. The women’s daily routine, however, has changed after females from Tharu community started becoming active in agriculture.
As many as 55 Tharu women are collectively involved in commercial agriculture and they are making good income from their work. Women have kept local chickens, ducks, and fish. They have also grown bananas in the group.
For commercial agriculture, women have established Tharu Women Farmers’ Group. “We are buying the seeds and fertiliser and selling the produce through the group,” said group’s chairperson Hiramani Guraule.
Initially, the group had 98 members. Some have left the group, while others have switched their business. “The group has 55 members and all of us are very active,” added Hiramani.
The group’s firm has 500 ducklings. The group is planning to add 500 extra ducklings after the winter season is over.
The Tharu women have also started mushroom farming.
According to Hiramani, they had faced difficulty in the initial days. But, keeping ducks and hens and growing bananas have become easy after receiving training from technicians.
Customers visit the farms to purchase ducks, chickens and fish. “We are failing to meet ducks’ demand as our products are organic”, Hiramani shared.
The group has invested more than Rs 8 lakhs to construct physical structures for keeping fish, ducks and local chickens. Hiramani says that working in the group has made their work easy and they are making a good income even with small investment.
Earlier, Tharu women used to be doing household chores and spend time collecting firewood from the forest. But, their lives have changed now, says Guraule. Hiramani says that they have set a plan to expand their business and make it more commercial in the days to come.