Returning to the roots

April 8, 2013 , by Bibek Bhandari, 1 Comment
Returning to the roots » My Dreams Mag
While many people are looking for opportunities in foreign lands, a group of Nepalese have moved from Kathmandu to Palpa to venture in livestock.

Amar Gurung gave up his job as the executive director of the Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya in Kathmandu to start a fresh project. His colleague, Bishnu Adhikari joined him.

Together, with a group of other friends, they are now experimenting and exploring an unfamiliar terrain trying to invest in something peculiar: breeding goats.

“After trying for four years around Kathmandu, we needed to have a proper base – something permanent and substantial,” Gurung says of their part-time organic farming in Chapagaun in Lalitpur and dairy farm in Budhanilkantha while still retaining their jobs.

After researching and analysing the cost benefits, the group came up with an idea: investing in goats.

In a country like Nepal where mutton is one of the main sources of meat, Gurung says the Nepalese market lacks a proper supply.

“We saw a good demand and a market for that,” says the 37-year-old.

But they knew local goats wouldn’t produce market-demand meat.  So they looked for another option wherein they started cross breeding South African Boers with local goats.

According to Gurung, this particular goat breed has “a good growth rate when it comes to meat.”

“In three months, the baby goat is already 20 kilos,” he says of the result.

But it wasn’t easy to start with – they needed to learn the tricks of the trade.

In 2011, Adhikari went for training in Pune, India, for that purpose. Since then, the’ve been importing the South African Boer’s semen from India to cross breed in Palpa.

Spread over 37.5 acres (300 ropanies ) of land, Adhikari, who permanently moved back to Palpa three years ago, manages their project. They’ve also hired two local families to take care of their 80 goats generating local employment.

Initially, Adhikari says, the neighbours were surprised by what they were doing. The community members didn’t think it would work; some of his friends were shocked he had left a job in Kathmandu and moved to  his native place in Palpa.

“But they’re seeing that it works,” Adhikari says of the positive developments of their project and the local support they’ve garnered over time.

Gurung says working in this sector needs a lot of patience.

“You can’t just reap the benefits in a couple of months after starting it,” he says. “It’s a long, ongoing process. You need some five to six years to see a concrete result.”

According to Adhikari, the time they’ve spent in Palpa has also been a learning experience – it’s been a practical approach to understanding agriculture and livestock.

The group, however, also wants to branch out their business.

In order to promote local business and tourism, they’ve initiated a self-run guesthouse in Harthok, about 30 minutes from the district headquarter Tansen.

Srijana Farms, as it’s called is a three-story mud house with four rooms currently in use.

Gurung says the guesthouse would be a good place to stay not only for the investors when they visit, but also for others who want to escape the urbane space and experience village respite.

But for them, it’s the village where they say their hearts and minds are at – though challenges persists, the young group sees future prospects.

As Gurung says, “Nepal is an agricultural country, but the young generation isn’t showing much interest in this field. So we thought of taking a bold move – we thought of it as a challenge. “

He further adds, “There’s so much we can do in Nepal and we can add value to whatever resources to have. We’re doing just that.”

Pictures: Bibek Bhandari


  • DSC_1157
  • Goats from Palpa
  • DSC_1033
  • Palpa Landscape
  • Palpa

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Categorised in: Features, Uncategorized

One comment on “Returning to the roots

  1. Oho kasto raamro kaam Amar and Bishnu! Will visit your farm soon to learn more from you!

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