Agriculture Empowers One Gajuri Family



Gajuri’s Sana Kisan Bikas Bank Ltd. (SKBBL) branch was established in 1995, two years before Kamala Nepal became a member of the Small Farmers Agriculture Cooperative Ltd. (SFACL). Like many other farmers, Nepal was afraid to ask for a loan at the start, but she said she has been able to generate so much money from it that she is not afraid anymore. Before receiving the loan, she was earning Nrs. 20,000 per year and lived with her inlaws. Nowadays, she is earning between Nrs. 100,000 and Nrs. 150,000 per year, and living in the home she built from profit she has accrued with the help of the loan. 

 

Kamala Nepal, a Gajuri-based farmer, who has become a leader at home
and in her community. 2019 © Astara van der Jagt

Nepal said she has been able to invest in better food and education for her children. Her son is currently pursuing a master’s degree, and her daughter is in grade 12.

Her family was also the first to own a tractor in the area, Nepal added proudly.

In Nepal’s home, the division of household chores are shared between family members, and usually depends on who is available. Whoever has spare time to prepare food, and wash dishes or clothes, does it for the whole family. 

Although financial decisions are taken by both Nepal and her husband Hari Prasad Nepal, H.P. Nepal chuckled and said, “ultimately, she has the final say,” pointing to his wife. 

At that, Nepal’s family members nodded in agreement, and Nepal smiled. 

An ardent proponent for female empowerment, Nepal is one of the leaders of a Gajuri women’s group. She said there are not enough women in managerial positions at SKBBL and the group is fighting to change that.

“There must be a female SKBBL coordinator of insurance as well as livestock,” she said. 

Nonetheless, the Gajuri SFACL has offered many educational trainings to their members, including one on proper health maintenance.

Before SKBBL came to Gajuri, Nepal said the community did not know what Typhoid was. They would treat abdominal pain, fever and diarrhea with fresh herbs. Now, they know to visit the local hospital for a check-up when the symptoms surface.

Nepal's mother and relative, standing in the part of the house
that was recently constructed for expansion.
2019 © Astara van der Jagt

 

By Astara van der Jagt
June 17, 2019