Economic empowerment through kitchen gardening

Shubha Tamang, 48, resident of Khaniyabas rural municipality in Dhading carries responsibility of taking care of eight family members. Two of his family members are differently abled and requires extra care. Without stable financial condition, he often struggles to fulfill the needs of his family members. Furthermore, changing climate patterns is affecting the land and crops yielding small amount of food for his families.

Purnima identified him as one of the vulnerable families in his community and decided to educate him to grow the food in his garden using climate smart technologies where they could grow more nutritionally varied crop of vegetables in the context of climate change. Shubha received vegetable farming training to grow round-the-year vegetables and skills on climate smart practices mainly on land management practices. “I learnt about kitchen gardening and they also trained me to start my own kitchen garden,” said Shubha. The training opened new doors for him. He was able to turn his barren land into a productive farmland using soil conservation technologies such as mulching and use of organic manure where he grows okras, tomatoes, beans, sponges and bitten gourds. The technologies became very helpful to cope with present climate change affecting land and water sources in the area, shares Shubha.

Seeing the outcome of his vegetable planting during the dry-season, Shubha is now planning to expand his farming in semi-commercial scale. “The road near my home is now connected with the nearby market of Kimtang Phedi and Darche communities, so I can easily sell my produce in the market,” informed Shubha.
For small landholders like Shubha, the proximity of markets supported by increased road connection provides them opportunities to access markets and increase their income. To ensure the quality of his produce, Shubha has also reared two buffaloes and two goats. Besides milk production, he uses their manure for fertilizers. “If I am unable to sell vegetables in the market, I can at least guarantee that my produce is organic, which is good for my family’s health,” he states.

The growth in his garden with the knowledge of kitchen gardening provided by Purnima, Shubha is motivated to expand his farm and pursue commercial farming. He feels happy to be applying a climate smart technology to produce vegetables that would help him sustain his livelihood and economic resilience.