Lila Nath Dhungana is 52 years old hard working farmer of Kumroj Village Development Committee (VDC) of Chitwan district. He was involved in Manakamana Aapsi Bikash Kendra being part of Sunaulo Apasi Bikash Samuha since 2003 under a program called ” Strengthening Civil Society Organization Program” (SCOP). Mr. Dhungana was an ordinary farmer with little land of around 25 kattha and few livestocks. He had to do a great struggle to meet his family expenses. He had no idea on how to live his life without scarcity until he was involved in Manakama Aapasi Bikash Kendra. Being engaged with this producer’ group, he received technical training on vegetable production organized by DEC Nepal. With the additional knowledge gained from the training, he was able to gain more profit from his vegetable production. It was just a beginning of creating positive vibes in his life. He was eligible to take loan of Rs 4000 in minimal interest without collateral after saving for two years in regular basis. He cultivated vegetables in 12 Katha of land with the technical guidance of SAP-Nepal, DEC Nepal and government line agencies. Key vegetable varieties he chose were cauliflower, tomato cucumber and cabbage that had higher market demand.
He was wise to use compost manure instead of expensive and environment threatening chemical fertilizers. He was thrilled to earn net profit of Rs 15,000 from the vegetable production.
Mr. Dhungana became source of inspiration and role model for other villagers. They also started following his footpath of vegetable cultivation in more environment friendly manner. With constant technical support and capacity building from organizations like DEC Nepal and SAP Nepal, there was dramatic change in the farming pattern and lives of these farmers. They are working more as a group than a single farmer struggling in early days.
Regarding his successes, Mr. Dhungana says ” Everything is possible, if we work in a group with team sprit. Even a poor farmer of low strata of income can change their live if they receive support from group.”
Key words: SCOP, Sustainable Livelihood, Micro Finance Institutions