We visited Women’s Bank entrepreneurs in Bhattedanda, around 40 kilometers from Kathmandu. Bhattedanda is an extreme beautiful hill area; the altitude is approximately 2000 meters. Women entrepreneurs’ farming areas are located in the Southern side of the hill area which is suitable for farming. We had the possibility to meet two women entrepreneurs.
Bibi May Ghalan, 35 years old.
The first woman entrepreneur we interviewed was Bibi May Ghalan. Bibi has a husband, an 11-year-old son and a 17-year-old daughter in her family. Her main farming products are lettuce, tomatoes, coriander, beans, chili peppers and onions. The farming fields are in use during all year around which means that something is growing at her fields all the time. One half of the fields are for the vegetable farming and the other half is for the corn farming.
Bibi is very happy because she has been able to gain an income of around 16.000 NPR per year from vegetables. She
is also getting income from selling buffalo milk; she has three buffaloes which produce 18 liters milk per day. In the future, she is going to concentrate more in the bean and lettuce farming. She is also planning to have another tomato tunnel. She transports the products to the collection center after which they’re taken to the market places to be sold. Bibi is happy with vegetable and mustard farming, they’re both very stable farming items, and sometimes the whole corn crop might get destroyed by the natural conditions. She has participated in the literacy class offered by the Women’s Bank project, but she dropped out after she learned how to write her own name.
Radha Sapkota, 30 years old
Another woman entrepreneur we got to meet was Radha Sapkota. Radha is living with her husband and three children, a five-year-old and two daughters aged 13 and 10. She farms tomatoes, onions, garlic, cabbage, cauliflower, chili peppers and eggplants. Her main product is tomato farming which provides her with an income of 35.000 NPR per year.
Radha gets support from Women’s Bank program: she was trained for growing a tomato tunnel got a loan of 20.000 NPR to be able to start the agriculture work. She has already been able to pay the loan back. Radha has had the farming business now for three years. Before farming, she only had buffaloes. Her products are going to the collection center where her tomatoes make her 60 NPR/kg. Her husband gets the earnings since he is the one who is taking the product to the collection center. Her husband gives Radha money if is she needs it. Radha said that her husband is very flexible when it comes to money. Before farming tomatoes she was dependent on her husband and now she has gained her independence.
Radha has also some cattle: two buffaloes and two goats. She gets seven liters of milk per day and gets a 500 NPR
earning from that. She wants to expand her business; she has already found room for more tomato tunnels. Radha is very happy with her business situation and her life. Every month, Radha gets savings from 2000 NPR to 3000 NPR. She is going to use the savings to her children’s education and maintaining their home.