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Two Are Stronger Than One

Dipendra Karki was born in the Latikoili Village Development Committee (VDC) in Karnali Province in 1990. While many Nepali youth seek futures outside of Nepal, Mr. Karki has always wanted to stay here. With a background as a survey engineer in the Chitwan District, he employed innovative methods to expand his cow farm. 

Together with his wife, Nita Chand, who is a JTA, he is sustaining the cow farm. Neighbours used to alledge that they may not have had the educational background they claimed to have, as they chose to make a profession out of agriculture instead. 

Mr. Karki and Mrs. Chand ignored their neighbours’ claims, knowing they would use all their energy towards achieving their dream. 

The challenge was that there were not many accessible resources. So, when they heard about the Small Farmer Agricultural Cooperative Ltd. (SFACL), they jumped on the opportunity. Mrs. Chand joined the cooperative, attended meetings and started saving regularly. 

After several months, they received a loan of Nrs. one million from the SFACL to expand the cow and vegetable farms. With the money, he bought two Jersey Cows. All cows now have been insured through the Livestock Insurance program provided by the SFACL, a 75 per cent premium of which is subsidized by Sana Kisan Bikas Laghubitta Bittiyasanstha Ltd. (SKBBL). 

Similar to when he heard about the SFACL, when he heard about the Small Farmer Agriculture Training Program, he applied right away. For 11 months from 2015 to 2016, he received agricultural training at Sedot Negev College in Israel. During Mr. Karki’s absence, his wife was in charge of managing the farm. 

Perhaps it was divine providence that he ended up on a cow farm in Israel. Perhaps it was just luck. Regardless, whilst in Israel, he made the decision to grow his farm as big as possible upon his return. And he made good on his promise. He started renovating the farm as soon as he returned to Nepal. 

Now, the Karkis have 21 cows. They sell more than 80L of milk daily to the market in Birendranagar Surkhet. Cultivating 0.71 hectares of land with fresh vegetables, Mr. Karki has signed an annual sales contract with an INGO located in Surkhet that supports orphans have better livelihoods and educations. Hence, the Karkis supply organic vegetables, fresh milk, and cereals to them. 

The people who used to speak negatively of the Karkis now visit the farm to learn from them. The duo has been an inspiration for many youth and a ray of hope for organizations dedicated to agricultural transformation. 

Mr. Karki is now the agricultural counselor at the SFACL in Latikoili. Him and his wife know that this is only just the start of the agricultural transformation that is inevitable in Nepal. “We need thousands of youth to change the agricultural scenario in Nepal, but it’s coming. I have hope.” Mr. Karki asserted.