A Returnee Migrant Worker Providing Access to Technologies to Smallholder Farmers
Khusiram Chaudhary is a returnee migrant worker residing in Gauriganga Municipality-11, Aithaa village of the Kailali district. He was working in Malaysia as a security guard for a company. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he lost his job and was compelled to return to Nepal. Nowadays, he is well-recognized in his locality as a machinery service provider, providing field plowing, land preparation and crop harvesting services.
He had a bitter experience of remaining jobless for five months after returning from Malaysia. He visited different banks in his locality, but could not get a loan. In the meantime, Mr. Chaudhary learned about the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) and its activities. The CSISA Activity supported him in making a business plan and linked with Mukti Nath Bank. As a result, he got the loan at a subsidized interest rate. He purchased a power tiller with multiple uses, such as land preparation, pumping and transportation. He also purchased a reaper machine used for harvesting rice and wheat.
Mr. Chaudhary fulfilled his area’s scarcity of power tiller and reaper service. In a single year, he made a profit of Nepali rupee (NPR) 80,000 by providing field preparation and reaping benefits. Farmers were happy that they could perform their field activities on time. They can call Mr. Chaudhary at any time for field preparation and reaping services. Timely preparation of the field and timely harvesting of crops allow them to grow more crops, which helps to generate more income. “With the use of reaper for rice harvesting, many farmers have sufficient time to grow vegetables like potatoes, chilies, etc.; otherwise, they take a long while harvesting manually and eventually escape the planting time,” said Mr. Chaudhary.
Mr. Chaudhary is happily spending his time with his family. “I have also supported my wife to empower her as some profit from machinery is invested in opening a grocery store, and she manages that grocery.” Mr Chaudhary mentioned. “I wouldn’t be a successful machinery service provider if I didn’t get support from the project and couldn’t open a grocery store for my wife.”
In the coming days, Mr. Chaudhary plans to expand his business. He plans to purchase more attachment power tillers, like seed-sowing machines and trollies. Thus, Mr. Chaudhary is a successful machinery entrepreneur who is spreading access to technology to smallholder farmers while generating income, which ultimately helped to intensify crop production and save money, time and energy for farmers.
This initiative is supported by the Feed the Future for Global Hunger and the Food Security Initiative under USAID/Nepal, implemented by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), in association with CSISA response and resilience partners iDE Nepal, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Cornell University and Texas A&M University (TAMU), and aligned with Transforming Agrifood Systems in South Asia (TAFSSA).