Khem Raj Neupane
My father passed away when I was 7 years old. Too young to take family obligations on my shoulders I was left without a choice. We had a family of 8 members and we struggled for food everyday. We had a cow in our home which was the only source of income for us. I walked for 2 hours daily to sell milk and buy rice from the earned money. I couldn’t focus on my studies somehow I completed 10th grade. Later, I tied up in a marriage. Life became a lot easier after that. My wife has been my companion in my good and bad days. I went to India to work. After 4 years, I returned back with a determination to open an enterprise here. Slowly I started scouting around my village. There were a lot of vegetable farmers who grew cabbage, cauliflower, beans on a large scale. This inspired me. I decided to start vegetable farming on my land. I sought getting a loan from the agriculture development bank to support my vegetable farm but my family didn’t allow me to keep our land as collateral. After refusal from my family, I reached out to a co-operative society of our village for a helping hand. They assisted me to support my vegetable farm. Following closely, I started Poultry farming, to provide enough fertilizer for my vegetable farm through poultry manure. But later poultry farm became my identity. Co-operative society also gave me bee farming training. Initially, they provided 22 bee hives and other necessary equipment free of cost. Today, I have 45 bee hives. Bee farming has been remunerative for me. Annually,I earn 2 lakhs by selling bee hives from which I fulfill my family expenses. Moreover, I am able to provide good education to my children through bee farming. Nevertheless, there are few challenges I have been facing for my bee farming. Firstly, is the geographical location of my house. It is in a height which is not favourable for bee farming. Secondly, is the seasonal changes. And there always lies financial constraints. Keeping aside all the challenges, I am determined about the growth of my enterprise. I am aiming to make 100 bee hives. My bee farm is registered under the name of co-operative society. Sometimes I think about registering it on my name but the legal process of registration demands documents and procedures, which becomes easy through a co-operative society. At present, I am also a member of the co-operative society. They provide us training and other technical support which is hard to meet when done from individual level. I conduct bee farming training in our village with the help of co-operative society and I welcome anyone in my farm who wants to learn bee farming. Agriculture is the only source of income in my family and it has become my identity. Daayitwa supports rural growth-oriented entrepreneurs to accelerate their innovations and incubate other entrepreneurs in their local communities through its Rural Enterprise Acceleration Program (REAP). This year we have selected Outstanding 20 Entrepreneurs from Palpa. Khem Raj Neupane is one such entrepreneur.
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