Training in new skills helps Parvati lead the way in her community

By Nissi Thapa – Communications Officer for World Vision Nepal

The Kailali community is now close to reaching self-sufficiency – an exciting stage in any World Vision project. It is always exciting to see years of work paying off into benefits for communities – and it is wonderful to hear stories of women like Parvati. She’s tending a 1.25 acre farm and supporting her family of five, thanks to training organised by World Vision in her community.

Female farmers like Parvati usually have to manage their households as well as living with family who can be unsupportive of their efforts. Such was the situation for Parvati when she first began taking part in training.

Parvati learnt how to preserve and produce hybrid seeds domestically and to sustain the life of her plants by staking and fertilising them. She was taught about the basics of market dynamics and recorded details of her supplies and income. As she started putting it all into practice, her production picked up.

What took time was getting the nod of approval from her family members, especially her husband, who thought she was wasting her time. After attending the market literacy class, she was determined to approach the local market. With assistance from local facilitators and fellow farmers, she met market agents and discussed the process. She had to transport the vegetables to the market, either on a cart or with a bicycle.

With time, a sense of trust has been built between Parvati and the agents – so now vendors come to take produce from her.

"Following the increase in demand I have been regularly supplying vegetables to 12 market agents this year. I am a producer and it thrills me to know that I am valued," she beams.

By applying the farming and business skills she learned from World Vision, Parvati is able to earn a good income for her family.

It was only after she managed to save around three Nepali lakhs (equivalent to US$3,000) last year that she noticed her family’s attitude was changing.

“My husband started giving me a hand in my market dealings and told me to carry on with my good work. I couldn’t be happier,” she recalls. In fact, she was earning more than her husband was from his hardware shop. “Lately it has been easier to manage the household expenses now that we are both contributing.”

In a closed community like Parvati’s, there is nothing that goes unnoticed – especially success. Impressed at seeing the progress in Parvati’s life over the past two years, several others from her community have been motivated to follow her path.

“Four or five people started extensive farming after I did. Time and again they come to me asking for tips,” shares Parvati.

There has been a vast improvement in places that traditionally experienced food shortages. Marginalised communities now have the skills and knowledge to improve their farming practices and technologies.

Direct support activities have included goat rearing training and support, sewing and stitching training and sewing machine support. Families have also been introduced to savings and credit groups. An evaluation by World Vision in 2017 saw that the income families earned through these livelihood initiatives was going towards helping children – 93.15 percent of the households used the extra money for education support, clothes and food.

Training in Sloping Agriculture Land Technology has led to increased production capacity of the land. It’s also led to increased soil fertility and has reduced the community’s risk of landslides by preventing soil erosion.

Parvati has no doubts that she made the right choice. She looks forward to expanding the farm to 2.08 acres shortly. “I hope to own a huge vegetable farm here one day,” she says.