Hari Kumar Kharki lives and works in Deusa, Solukhumbu, he is Eco Himal’s project manager on the TGT funded Agro-Forestry programme. Hari’s role is to support and train farmers in various agro-forestry and climate change adaptation methods across two rural municipalities, Deusa and Waku. He has been innovating in how to do this and has recently launched his own ‘Farmers School’ YouTube channel.
Hari started ‘Farmers School’ entirely under his own initiative. He uses free software to help edit his own photos and videos; they have a homespun quality about them, but perform a function, one that could become ever more valuable as the internet reaches further and further into Nepal’s remote mountain villages.
His first two videos were uploaded a year ago and focused on coffee production. He has recently started adding new content looking at how women are engaging in modern agriculture; an introduction to building and using water harvesting ponds; and most recently a tribute to the wonderful Romanesco broccoli crop.
I spoke to Hari via Facebook messenger to learn more. He told me that he started making the videos because he’s aware that what he has learned and experienced since starting work in Deusa is not only interesting to him, he believes that other farmers find it interesting too. He’s especially keen to share his experiences and knowledge with other young adults who he hopes he can inspire and motivate, so that they take up agriculture rather than migrate to the cities. Key to this, in Hari’s own words, is to make the videos ‘entertaining and believable’.
Hari has a large following on Facebook and promotes his videos through his profile to friends and fellow farmers. Internet access is patchy, often slow, but not too expensive and more and more people are getting access everyday at local cafes and through their smart phones. He is hopeful that as more people get access to the internet (which they inevitably will), YouTube can become a valuable communication tool to complement his face to face work and help him do more to enable climate change adaptation in these vulnerable communities.
Right now, Hari is working on a video to share an ‘rice intensification system’ that he is currently trialing; a key climate change adaptation benefit of this system is that it lowers the amount of water needed to grow rice. I’ve seen some photos already and am looking forward to his video.