By Puskar Bhandari,Dadeldhura, Mar. 23: Ganyapdhura Rural Municipality, in Dadeldhura district, is investing over Rs. 20 million in agriculture and livestock sectors alongside skill-based training to make the locals self-employed.
The investment has also led some closed industries to come into operation. One of them is the Khuwa Prasodhan Kendra, a condensed milk (khuwa) processing centre, situated in Ruwakhola in Ward No. 1.
The condensed milk processing centre had not come into operation since its construction was completed several years ago.
The centre was constructed to be operated under Mahabharat Dairy Cooperative Limited and millions of rupees were provided as support by the Veterinary Hospital and Livestock Service Expert Centre and Cottage and Small Industries Development Committee in 2013 for the construction of physical infrastructure.
Later, Nepal Dairy Pvt. Ltd. provided a fridge and equipment to condense milk. However, the centre could not come into operation until the rural municipality in coordination with UNDP and Nepal SEEDS provided more equipment worth Rs. 750,000.
"The centre could be brought into operation after we had all the necessary equipment. Its operation has created a proper market for cow and buffalo milk, making it easier for the local farmers," said Bhojraj Bhandari, coordinator of the processing centre.
The centre buys buffalo and cow milk for Rs. 70 and Rs. 60 per litre respectively. In Ganyapdhura, the majority of buffalo herders live in Germana village which lies downhill.
"Since it is difficult for Germana villagers to bring milk to the processing centre, we directly buy ghee and khuwa from them at Rs. 700 and Rs. 400 per kilogram respectively," said Bhandari.
To improve the economic condition of locals through self-employment, Ganyapdhura has also provided economic support for farmers involved in the dairy sector, goat farming, vegetable farming, and cash crops among others.
In Ward No. 3, Ganyapdhura provided equipment worth Rs. 200,000 to operate a dairy by creating a group of 346 farmers involved with livestock farming. Likewise, a group of 15 families was supported in goat farming.
Similarly, in Ward No. 2, a group of 60 families has been formed and supported in off-season vegetable farming. In Ward No. 4, a group of 70 families was supported in ginger cultivation, and 20 families each were supported in potato cultivation in Ward No. 3 and 4 respectively. Six water mills have also been repaired.
"We have allocated Rs. 11.1 million and the supporting agencies – UNDP and Nepal SEEDS – provided Rs. 10.8 million. All these amounts are being spent to make locals self-employed and economically independent," said Indra Bahadur Karki, chairman of Ganyapdhura Rural Municipality.
"We are also supporting in bakery, livestock feed production, tailoring, and iron equipment manufacturing. After making local farmers experts in the respective field, we plan to help them operate a commercial business as a group," said Devilal Upadhyaya, programme coordinator at UNDP.