Ginger production a good source of income for farmers in Doti

Publish Date: 
January, 2019

Pavitra Devi Gharti Magar, lives in Badikedar Municipality -2, Asura village Barchain, Doti with her 4 sons, one daughter in law and one grandson. She was widowed in May 2018.

Pavitra’s eldest son and daughter in law work with her on the farm, the second eldest son is employed in a motor garage in Mustang and the third son recently started work as a JCB driver in Eastern Nepal, he rarely visits to home.  Her youngest son is studying grade 7 at a school in Dipayal Doti. She now receives approximately NPR 10,000 a month from her sons. 

Since her husband’s death, Pavitra is responsible for managing the family’s expenses. The medical expenses for husband’s cancer treatment left her in financial crisis.

Pavitra used to cultivate small quantities of ginger, process it as ginger sutho[1] and sell it to local traders. She was looking for a local, reliable source of income so she could earn while also taking care of her family. With limited access to market and unreliable prices she lacked the confidence to expand her ginger cultivation.

In 2017, staff from RAP3 CONNECT’s partner Organic Mountain Flavor Private Limited (OMF) visited Pavtira’s village and she heard about OMF’s contracts with fixed prices and additional support available including organic certification and small loans.  Pavitra decided to join the farmer group and sign a contract with OMF.

Last year, Pavitra received a loan in the sum of NPR 24,000.  She harvested and sold 924 kg of ginger to OMF at the contracted price, NPR 26/kg. 

In 2018, she received a loan of NPR 50,000 and increased her cultivation of ginger, planting 3 ropanis[2] of land and producing approximately 2,840[3] kg of fresh ginger, including seed rhizomes.

Noticing signs of decay, she quickly harvested a quarter of the crop and immediately sold it to local traders.  She later sold 415 kg to OMF at a higher than contracted price, 36/kg, receiving NPR 14,940. She produced sutho from approximately 500 kg of seed rhizomes[4] and sold it to local traders for additional income.  She has kept approximately 900 kg as seed for next year and expects to harvest a minimum of 5,400 kg.

With the increased income, Pavitra has plastered and painted her house and constructed a new toilet and kitchen. She intends to use profits from next season’s harvest to complete construction of the house.  Then, she will rent out one room of her house to earn some more money.

Pavitra has more land and plans to expand her ginger cultivation further in the future.  She considers ginger cultivation a good source of income and a job which can engage her and family members while allowing sufficient time to care her family. Before OMF came to her village, her household’s primary source of income was goat rearing and her sons’ wages. Now, they are making profits from commercial ginger farming, a source of income with lots of future prospects.

[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] 1 ropani of land is equivalent to approx.. 509 square meters.

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

[4] Creeping rootstalks