Ginger farmers in Doti shift to commercial production

Publish Date: 
January, 2019

Damara Devi Ojha, lives in Badikedar Municipality 3, Katgoan, Ghangal with her 8 family members (her husband, 5 children, and grandmother). She runs a small tea shop but it is difficult to cover household expenses from the income. She tried to expand the shop but faced difficulties due to high competition and her other responsibilities, caring for her children and grandmother and doing household work. 

She used to cultivate ginger in small scale; processed it as ginger sutho[1] and sold it to local traders. It was not profitable but she had no other options. Her husband took other work for extra income but never earned as expected. 

In 2017, staff from RAP3 CONNECT’s partner Organic Mountain Flavor Private Limited (OMF) visited her village and encouraged her to cultivate organic ginger.  OMF provided technical guidance on organic cultivation practices and offered a contract with a buy back guarantee and a fixed price.

Damara planted 6 doko[2] (approx. 170 kg[3]) of ginger seed and harvested approximately 1,000[4] kg of organic fresh ginger of which she sold 403 kg to OMF at the contracted price, NPR 26 /kg, receiving NPR 10,500. She earned additional income selling ginger sutho, prepared from seed rhizomes[5] to local traders. She kept the remaining stock as seed for the following year.

In 2018, Damara again signed a contract with OMF and, insured her crop and took a loan of NPR 50,000 from Prabhu Bank, facilitated by OMF.  Her production was good and of approximately 1600 kg harvested she has sold 945 kg to OMF at the higher than contracted price of NPR 36 /kg, earning NPR 34,020. She is keeping the remaining 21 doko as seed for next year and expects to earn NPR 1,00,000. 

Damara has successfully made the shift to commercial production and now her husband is also in involved in cultivating ginger.  They have plans to expand production further and increase their income in the future.

[1] Ginger dried by peeling fresh rhizomes using wooden tool is commonly known as sutho. This local process requires repeated peeling and sun drying.  The dry ginger is considered ready when it is hard to break and produces a metallic sound when struck.

[2] A basket made from dry bamboo strips.

[3] Based on average weight of ginger carried in one medium sized doko, 28kg.

[4] Estimated production based on reported average productivity and quantities planted.

[5] Creeping rootstalks