Read here information about the project published in the media:
Call for agroforestry to save environment
by Arjun Raj Paudel
Farmers of Kaule in Okharpauwa VDC-3 have shifted to agroforestry from traditional farming system in order to preserve the environment, grow organic foods and raise their economic status. Kaule e.V. agroforestry project has been supporting the local farmers towards this direction for the past two years by providing them with training and samplings of trees, vegetables, and grass. It has also been providing training to the farmers, mostly from the Tamang community, in areas like agriculture, socioculture, environment and finance with technical support. The project has been promoting agroforestry and organic crops by discouraging the farmers from using chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the crops. Kaule e.V. project has been registered in the district in June 2008 by Ms Alina Schick, a Ph.D student at the Department of Rural Communication and Extension at the Institute of Social Science in Agriculture at the University of Hohenheim in Germany. Schick is working under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Volker Hoffmann. The title of her research is "Conversion of Subsistence Farming System to Sustainable Agroforestry in the Mid Hills of Nepal - Participatory Action Research in System Development".
According to a local Jash Ram Moktan, 50, the project has been working effectively. "This project has been established with a good objective because it is helping to uplift the living standards of the locals", Moktan said, "I knew about the need of forest but had not known about the agroforestry, which I knew from training provided by the project. I at least came to know that using chemical and pesticides in farms is injurious to health. I always used chemicals and poison to grow more crops, but never thought about it's harm on human health. After receiving the training I have started using composts in place of chemical fertilizer for which I have reared buffalos and goats," said Moktan. The project has also trained the locals to make bio-pesticide by using locally available herbs and other things like urine of the cows. Moktan also informed that he had already received a training on organic farming from India, but was unable to apply it in practice. "But this time I have succeeded to apply in practice," he said. He had gone to India for the training under a German project 'Community Welfare Development society' (CWDs).
Volunteers from different countries like US, Canada, Denmark, and Switzerland have been assisting in the work coordinated by Badri Rai, the chairman of a social welfare organisation 'Hands For Help Nepal'. Rai said "Foreigners come to Nepal, some of them show the interest in volunteer service and I am helping them searching and connecting with social need and place for their service".
Taking the concept of community forest in mind the Nepal government had formed a project and built an office in Kaule. After completing the project, the government had handed over three office buildings and the forest to the community, but the community was unable to utilize them properly. Two years ago, while Kaule e.V. project came with a mission of launching agroforestry, the locals handed over them to the Kaule e.V. agroforestry project.
"Our goal is to involve many families in this mission through transferring knowledge from one to another. I am hopeful that our goal wills success," said project managing director Schick. "We are promoting locally available fertilizer and bio-pesticide for fertilization and treatment to fight with fungi in plants," she said and added, "Along with training and teaching, research work has also been in progress. I have found some highly motivated people in the community." she further said, "People of Kaule, Okharpauwa-3 have become more creative and laborious after they received training." Women farmers like Thulimaya Tamang and Sanu Maya Tamang from same place also appreciated the project's work. They said, "They are also distributing the tree plants informing us about the advantage of plants and techniques too".
Apart from this, the project is also teaching english to the local children and making them aware about health.
This article was published on 10.12.2009 in "The rising Nepal" in Kathmandu.