DAMAK, March 19: Use of improved seeds has been increased as the number of commercial farmers practicing modern methods of farming is growing in recent years. Farmers in Jhapa have brought seeds processing center into operation. Maharani Jhoda Small Farmers Cooperative Institution has started operating seeds processing center in the district for the comfort of farmers.
The processing center is getting the workload as per its capacity, said Hemraj Bista, manager of the processing center. The processing center covering 14 kattha of land has been started since 2016. Nepal government had provided 80 percent of grant for the construction of infrastructures and to purchase modern technologies for the processing center. The processing center has been established investing Rs 29.5 million of which Rs 7 million was spend for the modern machineries.
The processing center has been processing the seeds of maize, paddy, mustard and barley. The processing center has planted seeds covering 150 bigaha of land of Gauradaha 4 and 5. Although the processing center was providing seeds to local farmers only, the demand has increased later and it is now supplying the processing seeds to the farmers of Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari as well. Manager Bista further said that despite getting large demand they are being unable to supply seeds to Ilam, Panchthar and Saptari too.
As the demand of improved seeds has been growing the processing center has started providing grant to the farmers to increase their production. The processing center first provides first generation of seeds to the farmers and later on buys the production of the farmers. For this purpose processing center has been providing grant on farming and selling.
The processing center has provided Rs 200 per kattha for the farmers who have been doing grass farming in 10 kattha of land. However, from this year the center has started providing Rs 100 per kattha to the farmers doing grass farming in 5 kattha of land. The grant has been arranged for the seeds of crops that has high demand in the market.
Furthermore the cooperative has started group farming for the easy profit and to increase the production. “Cooperative has started farming to encourage farmers and to meet the demand of seeds in the market,” said Chiranjibi Bhandari manager of Cooperative institution that has started group farming in 150 Bigaha of land currently in the district.
Bhandari further said that farmers involved in group farming are receiving certain amount of produced crops and rest of the produces is being taken by the institution for the seed processing. Group farming is profitable since it makes easier use of machineries, reduces investments as well as getting market for the produces is easy in group farming, Bhandari added.
The processing center has been brought into operation to replace the import of seeds. “Although modernization has been practiced in our agriculture sector, farmers were facing lack of improved seeds,” Bhandari said, “So, we have started processing centers to make Nepal self-dependent on improved seeds.”