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My name is Shanti Himal. I was born in Masta VDC*, which is one of the most remote areas of Bajhang District in the far west of Nepal. I married into a very poor family in Subeda VDC. My family of seven struggled to manage on the small income we had. My husband used to go to India for daily labouring work, but even this was not enough to provide for the basic needs of our family.

Almost a year ago, I joined the Sayapatri Farmers’ Group, formed by Mahila Kalyan Savings and Credit Co-operative as part of the I-CAN project. I attended meetings and farmers’ field schools arranged by the group. I learned about Integrated Pest Management (IPM), climate change and adaptation processes, as well as income generation activities,through my involvement in group. Our group used to conduct IPM classes once a week. In total, I attended 16 IPM classes conducted by our group. The knowledge I gained through this I applied in my field.

I was aware that profit can be made from vegetable farming, so I got involved in that. Now I produce both seasonal and off-seasonal vegetables in my field. I can sell vegetables from my field in the local market. Knowledge gained from this project, together with my hard work, have made me a successful vegetable grower. I have earned NPR 60,000 (USD 705) this year. Now I have no problems fulfilling my family’s needs. More-over I have asked my husband to join me in commercial vegetable farming, rather than go to India.

I would like to thank Mahila Kalyan Saving and Credit Co-operative Limited and the I-CAN project, which helped me to change my life.

* VDC = Village Development Committee, the local level of government in Nepal