A local of Sindhuli making wooden products. Photo: Anil Bhandari/Republica
SINDHULI, Feb 24: The operation of small firms registered under 'cottage industry' category is creating employment opportunities at local level in rural areas of Sindhuli.
Bed Prasad Parajuli, 72, of Dhansari in Dudhauli Municipality-11 has been producing and selling khuwa, or milk solids, for the past 11 years. According to locals, khuwa produced by the septuagenarian is a popular souvenir from the village. His firm – Laxmi Narayan Dairy – has been registered with Cottage and Small Scale Industries Development Office, Sindhuli. Most of the family members of Bed Prasad are employed in the firm.
According to Bed Prasad's son Tulsi Prasad, the family has been producing around 30 kg of khuwa on a daily basis. "There is no shortage of buyers. People in this village form our major clientele. They buy our products and send them as souvenirs to their near and dear ones," he added.
A kilogram of khuwa costs Rs 550 per kg. For wholesale buyers, price has been fixed at Rs 500 per kg, according to Tulsi Prasad.
Laxmi Narayan Dairy buys 150 liters of milk produced in the village. It offers dairy farmers Rs 30 for a liter of fresh milk.
Bed Prasad's firm is supporting dairy farming in the village. Many farmers have registered their livestock business at the district office. Mohan Bahadur Sunuwar of Dudhauli is one such farmer. He is the proprietor of Kamalamai Buffalo Farm which sells buffalo calves of improved breeds to dairy farmers. At present, there are 15 calves in his farm.
Sunuwar, who returned from Saudi Arabia two years ago, started his firm as he failed to earn as expected in the foreign land. "I recently sold 22 calves for a sum of Rs 300,000," he added.
According to Sunuwar, there is no shortage of buyers. "Dairy farmers visit my firm to buy calves," he added.
Local people were encouraged to register their firms after the government announced subsidy programs for farmers. According to Cottage and Small Scale Industries Office, 2,890 small scale firms have been registered as 'cottage industry' as of mid-July 2019. These firms have employed around 8,228 people, including 2,913 women, according to the office.
Of the total registered firms, 175 are production-based, 1,174 agriculture and forestry-based, and 1,557 are related to services. There are also firms based on energy and tourism sectors. Local people have registered firms like dairies, rice mills, furniture companies, tailoring centers, photo studios, beauty parlors, tile and block producers, and agro farms, among others.