Morgan is back in Kathmandu now. This is his fourth diary entry from his time monitoring projects in Solukhumbu and Kavre.
Saturday 19th October
Our last monitoring task in Deusa was a visit to the Hazelnut plantation, which was planted two years ago a few kilometres north of the AFRC, at an altitude of around 2,000m. The trees are in the dormant phase of their annual cycle and making reasonably good progress. Some plants are doing better than others, there was some evidence of insect pests, including the giant hairy caterpillar we met!
The Hazelnut trees need to be tended as they develop, they are not yet old enough to fruit, it may be another two years. Keshab (AFRC manager) explained that, due to a lack of time, the farmer whose land the hazelnuts are on hasn’t been clearing the weeds around the tree enough. This needs to happen to ensure nutrients aren’t being diverted away from the trees. We’ll need to work out a way to support him in doing this, many hands make light work.
It’s Saturday morning now and I’m sat with the team at our brand new AFRC in Mandan Deupur, Kavrepalanchok. Our NGO partner, Eco Himal Nepal, have been working here for three years, mostly on education and sexual health projects. Together, last year, we secured three years of funding from Marr Munning Trust, to establish a new Agro Forestry Resource Centre here, along similar lines to Deusa AFRC.
In June the AFRC building was completed and we slept here last night ahead of meetings today with the new committee and a tour of the progress made so far. I’ll report on what I learn in my next entry.