RAJBIRJ, Aug 26: Unlike other rural youth seeking greener pastures abroad, young hands in Katti village of Boriya VDC, Saptari are making good in their own country.
With the vegetable farming bringing in good income, the village youths prefer farming to abroad employment.
´Why go abroad when I am earning around Rs 1 million rupees annually in my village itself,´ exclaimed Birendra Mahato, a youth who is into farming. Birendra, 29, is engaged in farming for around a decade now. ´One has to pay around Rs 200,000 to agents for foreign jos and still there is no guarantee of a good job,´ he added.
Birendra, who has only high school-level education because he could not continue studies due to poor financial situation, had once thought of going abroad for employment but dropped the idea due to higher costs. He then started assisting his father in their vegetable farm, which sprawls over 3 bigha of family land.
´I guess my decision not to go abroad was good because earning from vegetable farming is very good,´ Birendra further said.
Another youth of the village Dev Kuamar Mehta has a similar experience. Mehta, who is also engaged in vegetable farming, said the family"s economic condition has prospered and the family is now counted among one of the well-to-do families in the village.
´Earlier, we had to struggle for a living despite having enough land to work,´ Meheta said.
According to Narayan Mahato, a village elder, more than 100 youths are currently engaged in commercial vegetable cultivation and their earnings are better than that of other youths of the village working in Gulf countries.
In Katti village, there commercial vegetable farming has been done in over 1,000 bighas of land. They grow cauliflower, brinjal, bottle gourd and ridge gourd among other vegetales. Rameshwar Mandal, one of the farmers, said their produce reaches Kathmandu and Pokhara apart from the local market in Rajbiraj. Farmers said they have been earning Rs 300,000-400,000 per bigha.
Another youth Siyaram Mandal meanwhile complained there is lack of irrigation facility and the scarcity of fertilizer and highbreed seeds is making farming difficult.
Youth peasants also complained that the Agricultural Development Office in the district has not provided them any help.