With Halesi Mahadev in our hearts and a femine for knowledge in our minds, our trip to the east started on 2077-12-11. At 6 am, the Pokharelis were still in bed while we 32 people were all looking for the best seats in our 35-seated Deluxe Bus. With a bus full of innovative farmers and staff from PMAPM PIU Kaski, we left the comfort of our home for the next 6 days.
Twisting and turning in the winding roads of Pokhara, our first stop was somewhere near Damauli. Fulled with morning tea, the whole team was singing and dancing to the melody of local folk songs. Even the random noise of Madal and Tambourine made us Tap our feet. And even before we notice, there was the awesome smelling Thakali Khana at Chitwan Thakali Bhancha Ghar.
Chitwan Machinery expro
After all the fun, the tour actually started to make sense when we landed at Chitwan Machinery Expro. The exhibition had unlimited machinery and technology to explore. We felt relaxed even in the heat of Chitwan while witnessing these farm machinery demonstrated by some finest machinery companies of Nepal.
The open space outside the hall had some large machines including
- Power-operated tractors and Hand tractors
- Combine thresher
- Thresher and Cutter
- MB plough
- Land leveler
Inside, there were three different Halls, each dedicated to a different purpose.
Hall A: Some smaller machinery including hand thresher, Machine Milking, Nets, greenhouse equipment, and some irrigation tools.
Hall b: The second hall was dedicated to the banking section. The representative from different major bank operators in Nepal was informing the farmers about low-interest agriculture loads and agriculture insurance. The presence of Nepal agriculture bank, Nabil bank, Nepal Investment bank, Siddhartha Bank, etc was much appreciated.
Hall C: The last hall was all about promoting local and organic fertilizer, nursery plants, and some other machines rice transplanter.
Oh, how could we miss the awesome drone by PMAMP Chitwan itself. Also, there were relaxing local curd, juices, and other dairy products on the outskirts.
Nepal Agrovine Pvt. Ltd
In no time, we were all roaming on the beautiful strawberry farm of Shasan Devkota. The red and pink Strawberry did look yum, but what we were actually interested in was the farming techniques.
Planted at 35*35 cm distance, Shasan had the seedling transplanted in the month of Bhandra. With a ridge and furrow of almost 1 foot, he first installed the plastic mulch and then kept the seedling. We found the use of water-soluble fertilizers quite interesting. The harvesting would start at Magh and continue till Baishak.
Kattha production: 2000 to 3000
Per plant would have the investment of Rs 600 to 800
Farmgate price: Rs 400
We ended the tour will a soothing Strawberry milkshake provided at the farm.
With our driver unknown to Chitwan’s landscape and others being new to the farm, the journey to the Asparagus become quite long (we are almost lost). But that was also our chance to look at the beauty of Chitwan from the bus window. Getting to the farm at 5:15 PM in the evening, we met Suman Subedi.
Suman Subedi sir was another inspirational character we got to know. His stories about how he brought half a kg seed of Mary Washington Asparagus from America and became the first person in Nepal to bring this variety were really touching.
We almost found it hard to believe that those tiny plants of Asparagus could give up to 14 to 15kg of Asparagus. And he would harvest 80-90kg each day, earning up to per day 50,000 per day in the peak season.
Harvesting would reach its peak at Chaitra, Baishak, and Jestha, and continue up to Asoj. Our farmers found the Asparagus farm quite interesting, making plans to bring Mary Washington into Kaski.
After about an hour of chit-chat with Mr. Suman Subedi, it was time to get back to our bus. As the sun sets in the Terai, we kept on moving toward Hetauda. Unfortunately, no rooms were available in Hetauda for the night and our team had to reach Rautahat. Crashing at Chandranigapur at 1 pm at night was itself a great adventure.