Shailung farmers making good money from potato cultivation


By Our Correspondent,Charikot, May 23Farmers of Shailung in Dolakha have been attracted towards potato cultivation lately. Farmers are attracted towards commercial potato farming after getting good income from potato cultivation instead of other crops.

The livelihood of the farmers is changing after getting good price of potatoes. Ganesh Shrestha of Shailung Rural Municipality-3, Dhunge said, "Income from the sale of potatoes is good. Potato cultivation is four times more profitable compared to other crops."

His family is supported by selling potatoes. Last year, he cultivated potatoes in 13 ropanies of land and earned an income of around of Rs. 300,000.

After good income from potato farming, he has planted potatoes on 30 ropanies of land this year. Shrestha said that the target was to earn around Rs. 1 million from potato farming this year. 

The Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project, Project Implementation Unit, which has Dolakha and Ramechhap as working areas, has given a sprinkler irrigation machine as a grant.

Shrestha said that after the provision of sprinkler irrigation system, it was easy to arrange the water required by potatoes even in summer and drought of April and May months. 

He said that as irrigation was arranged, he expanded the area of potato plantation this year, so they were thinking of selling potatoes worth more than Rs. 1 million. 

The farmers of Shailung-6, Chitre have formed a group and have done potato cultivation. In that group, 35 households are engaged in commercial potato farming. The group of potato farmers has built a rustic store at a cost of Rs. 1,000,000.

The Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project, Project Implementation Unit has given a grant of Rs. 600,000 and the remaining Rs. 400,000 has been invested by the group, said Thir Lal Gaire, chief of Project Implementation Unit.

Nimsagar Tamang, a farmer of the group, said that the income of the locals had increased from potato farming. "Earlier, they could hardly see money," he said, "now it has become a cash crop and the situation is not like before." He said that potatoes were more beneficial than other crops. 

According to him, farmers could get income easily if they worked hard in potato cultivation. He said that all the farmers of the group earned about Rs. 300,000 annually. The farmers of the group had planted potatoes in about 500 ropanies of land.

Considering the problems of potato farmers, the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project, Project Implementation Unit, Ramechhap has been giving subsidies based on the farmers' demands. 

According to the project, potato cultivation was improving the lives of local farmers. Shailung area of Dolakha is the main area for potato production.

Although potatoes are produced in the area and potatoes worth billions of rupees are produced, the farmers have complained that there is a problem of roads and lack of proper market.

The potatoes of Shailung are being supplied to Kathmandu Valley and other areas.

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