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Organic New Year in Dharan
DHARAN, April 15: On Saturday, Baishakh 1st, the first day of Nepali New Year 2075, people were busy celebrating and sending best wishes to friends and families on social media networks. But homemaker Shova Dahal of Dharan Municipality Ward 6 started her new year in a different way. From early morning, she was busy packing organic vegetables and taking them to the Aman Bajar situated in Dharan Municipality Ward 12. When she reached Aman Bajar, it was 7am.
From the last three months, local farmers' market called Hatiya is organized every Saturday at Aman Bajar, where costumer can buy different organic vegetables. Dahal started to sell at the Hatiya from the beginning.
“We started our New Year in an organic way,” said Dahal. “Hatiya market has promoted the products of organic farmers."
"However, we need to educate costumers about the importance of organic vegetables," Dahal added.
"I took training of organic farming and then started growing organic vegetables. In the beginning, I used to get very low production in comparison to commercial farming and profit was also not so good, but I didn’t stop doing it,” she added.
Every Saturday, she takes spinach, tomatoes, and other products to the Hatiya market. On the New Year's day, she was joined by Rekha Rai, Rita Rai, and Hema Thalangle, who go to Hatiya market regularly to sell fermented bamboo shoots (tama), chili pickle, turmeric, honey, pure organic mustard oil, and pickle of dry meat among others.
Entrepreneur Rekha Rai said: “Earlier, I used to sell these products from home, but after the establishment of this Hatiya market we started selling from the stall. As we sell only pure products costumers like it.”
For Krishna Rai of Dharan-4, health concern was the prime factor that prompted him to start organic farming. "Due to the use of insecticides and pesticides in commercial farming, our health is at risk," he said. "But due to the lack of proper market, organic farmers are kind of disappointed. This Hatiya has come as a help to such farmers."
“Lack of market was a huge problem for organic farmers, but with the establishment of this Hatiya market it’s been easy for us. Earlier, due to the lack of proper market, we had sell our products at very low price,” Rai said.
Rai is running organic farming campaign from the last ten years. Today organic farming is getting popular in Dharan. Organic farmers use organic fertilizers and they use homemade organic pesticides and insecticides to control plant diseases.
“We encourage farmers to start organic production and make them aware about the existing market. Costumers also like this,” said chairperson of the Hatiya Market Committee, Subechha Adhakari Shrestha. “There is a huge demand for a variety of organic vegetables in the market. Most of the farmers are still following traditional farming so local bodies should do something to promote such scientific farming.”
Every Saturday Hatiya market runs from 7am to 11am. Different types of home-grown seasonal vegetables are available in this market such as cucumber, bitter gourd, pumpkin shoots, tomatoes, jack fruit, bean, and sponge gourd and so on. Similarly, customers can also buy different homemade food products including fermented spinach, chili pickle, turmeric, organic mustard oil, ghee, and pickle of dry meat in this market.