Women farmers reaping new rewards

22 Dec 19

For the farmers of rural Nepal, the rhythms and patterns of nature ensure the productivity and survival of their community. Planting season and the periodic flooding of plains precedes a plentiful harvest, sunshine allows plants to grow and even the smallest creatures: bugs, spiders, and crickets, are essential to the wellbeing of the crops.

But chemical pesticides wreak havoc on plant life, killing beneficial larval insects and damaging the long-term health of farmers who are exposed to dangerous substances like fungicides and insecticides.

“I used to kill whatever insect I saw in the field without recognising it. But after this program, I got knowledge about the beneficial insects and methods to control only the harmful pests.”

For 21-year-old Sharada, a Nepalese woman learning agricultural techniques in the Parbat district of central Nepal, the Caritas Australia supported Nepal Livelihoods and Resilience program has completely changed the way she farms, and in turn, she is teaching others in her community to farm more sustainably as well.

“After the completion of our IPM training, I shared the knowledge in my family and hometown too. I encouraged my parents and my neighbours to do organic farming and decrease the use of pesticides as far as possible,” Sharada says.

“As a result, the productivity of the crop has increased. This has helped farmers to earn healthier crops and more income.”

Sharada has even taken her training to the road, forming a theatre troupe with her friends, and travelling from village to village to spread the word about sustainable farming practices.

Thank you for your support of programs like this, which are producing a more sustainable yield for communities like Sharada’s in the heart of Nepal.

ACT Caritas Australia’s Generation Earth campaign is addressing the underlying ecological causes which contribute to the difficulties faced by Nepalese farmers. Find out more at genearth.org.au