Sujan Piya


Head of Agriculture, food security and markets at Practical Action, South Asia

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Posts by Sujan

  • Establishment of agro-vet opens new doors

    April 1st, 2015

    Bhakta Bahadhur Saud, a resident of Kuldevmandu VDC of Bajura District, earned his living by selling agricultural inputs to local farmers which he bought from the agro-vets of other districts. He was carrying out this work in a very basic way but changed his working modality after participating in a training workshop. He was one of the participants of the market mapping workshop organised by Rural Access Programme (RAP) – 3 in the Bajura District. During the workshop, he was identified as a potential market player who could do input business formally and provide services to many farmers in the community.

    Rural Access Programme (RAP) – 3 is a four years project being implemented by Practical Action through IMC Worldwide with the financial support from DFID in 22 Village Development Committees (VDCs) Doti, Achham, Bajura and Humla Districts.

    Bhakta Bahadhur Saud

    In all these districts, market system analysis was carried out through participatory market mapping (PMM). In the working VDCs of Bajura District, it was found that, there were no agro-vets accessible to the local community. Farmers had to purchase inputs either from adjoining districts or from the regional market at Dhangadhi which was arduous requiring a long day travel. Thus, there existed limited opportunity for farmers to go beyond the subsistence farming.

    Further analysis indicated that small and fragmented markets in rural areas with higher transaction costs for carrying out business is a root cause of the poor functioning of input markets in rural areas.

    RAP project initiated a deal to motivate Bhakta Bahadhur Saud to establish himself as an agro-vet. He participated in entrepreneurship training and pesticide training which is a pre-requisite for getting license to sell pesticides. He also developed a business plan after being a part of the training. As the initial market size was small enough to discourage any potential entrepreneurs to start a business, the project facilitated him to engage in multiple businesses like poultry hatchery and vegetable collection along with his agro-vet business to generate enough income. A linkage between with regional level agro-vet and input suppliers was also developed.

    Bhakta Bahadur established himself as an agro-vet at Bamka Bazar of Kuldevmandu VDC of Bajura, which is now functioning as a major agro-vet service in the district. This agro-vet is currently serving about 6,500 households of seven VDCs of the district. Daily sales exceed NPR 4,000 on an average. Veterinary service is another major service provided by the agro-vet as Bhakta Bahadur is also a trained Vet JTA.

    On top of all these, Bhakta Bahadur has currently initiated poultry business to sell live chicks not only in the corridor VDCs but also beyond them. After diversifying his business, he has started making transactions of NPR 8,000 (£27) per day. He is planning to integrate collection and marketing of vegetables and other agriculture produce in near future.

    As a result of the establishment of agro-vet and barefoot services, local communities now have easy, affordable and timely access to input services and micro-irrigation equipment. There are number of farmers who have up-scaled their farming from subsistence to commercial in a short time. The services provided by Bhakta Bahadur not only help him to increase his own income but also help other farmers to gain access to necessary services.

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