May 28: The daily routine of local farmers has changed as they have shifted from conventional agriculture such as potato and maize cultivation to kiwi farming at Shyamshila in Bhojpur district.
After Pauwadungama Rural Municipality declared 12.51 square kilometers of land as pocket area for kiwi farming, local farmers have been attracted towards commercial kiwi farming.
Recognizing the potential of kiwi cultivation, more than a hundred farmers in the area have switched to kiwi farming due to its higher profitability compared to other crops with less effort.
According to the ward office, farmers have taken up kiwi farming on more than 300 ropanis of land in the area. Rajendra Tamang, Chairman of Pauwadungma Rural Municiplaity-1 said, "We are promoting kiwi cultivation in the Shyamshila region. After declaring it as a pocket area, we have implemented programs to provide necessary incentives to farmers. Now, we have plans to expand this area as a kiwi block."
Madhu Subba, a local farmer who has ventured into commercial kiwi farming, mentioned that with proper expansion, it can generate good income for several years. Currently, he has cultivated kiwi on around five ropanis of land.
Subba stated, "I have started kiwi farming as an alternative to potato and maize. My goal is to earn an annual income of around 400,000 to 500,000 rupees. I also plan to do vegetable farming alongside kiwi cultivation, which will further increase the income."
Devaraj Rai, another local resident who has found it easier to engage in commercial kiwi farming due to the suitable geography of the Shyamshila region, shared his experience. He has currently planted three hundred kiwi saplings. He said, "I have chosen kiwi farming as an alternative to potato and maize. With this farming, I expect to earn more than other crops with less effort. Many farmers in our area are engaged in it."
Devraj Rai also mentioned that the support from the village municipality has made it easier to engage in commercial kiwi farming. With the implementation of the kiwi farming campaign in the village, the local administration has provided assistance to farmers at a lower level, which has helped them in farming.
He said, "I had been thinking about kiwi farming since long ago. It required a significant investment to expand cultivation in many places. But now, with the support from the rural municipality, many farmers in the village are engaged in commercial farming."
The chief administrative officer of the Pauwadungma Rural Municipality, Navin Bhattarai, informed that more than 5 million rupees have been invested by the rural municipality in kiwi farming in various fiscal years.
Bhattarai stated, "We have taken this region as a suitable area for kiwi cultivation. The climate here is highly suitable for kiwi farming. After implementing programs to promote it, we have seen an increase in enthusiasm among farmers."
Kiran Rai, the chairperson of the Pauwadungma Rural Municipality, said that local level had stressed on "One Village, One Product" program. He stated that the rural municipality has been working to promote self-sufficiency in agriculture by encouraging locals to do cultivation as per soil condition.