This is Padam Thada, he is a young farmer living in Durlunga, a small village perched on a ridge, high up in the Siwalik mountains of southern Nepal. Padam was born in Durlunga and grew up with his siblings and friends. He rarely left the village and spent his days helping with the farming, attending as much school as possible and, just before sunset, playing volleyball on the village square. When he grew into an adult he decided that he needed to move away, not just from Durlunga, but from Nepal entirely. He emigrated to Kuala Lumpar, the capital of Malaysia, and spent six years working in a huge commercial bakery. Like many Nepalese who feel compelled to migrate, he lived a life of long hours, low wages and frugal living.
After six years in Malaysia, Padam felt able to return to Durlunga. He was attracted home by the projects TGT are funding; word had spread. Over the last six years, we have supported 353 families across ten villages this region. We have trained farmers, constructed irrigation systems and rebuilt houses that were destroyed during the 2015 earthquakes. This all adds up to improved livelihood chances and has enabled young adults like Padam to see a future here.
Padam is now a ‘lead farmer’ in Durlunga, an important role in village life. He is teaching, inspiring and motivating others. When we met him in February this year, he had already sold 200kg of tomatoes, 125kg of cauliflower and 130kg of cabbage at the local market. The income is helping his family to invest in new seeds and equipment for their farm. For other farmers we met, their new income streams help pay school fees for their children and grandchildren.
Over the next two years, we plan to continue our support in Durlunga as part of a broad programme covering the villages of Satakun, Tandi, Baseni, Shyamgha and Dhababa. We will continue working with HICODEF, a local NGO who will run monthly farmer field schools and workshops to train 100 farmers a year. In addition, we will provide equipment for farmers to enable them to grow new cash crops on their land and maintain their new irrigation system. We need to keep supporting Padam and other young farmers in Nepal so that they can adapt their farming practices to the impacts of climate change and the demands of their local markets. With your support, we can literally keep villages like Durlunga alive.
This is an article from our Summer 2017 newsletter. If you would like to receive a hard copy of our newsletter, please get in touch with us via our contact pages. Thank you for your support.