Jurikhet farmers turn to growing carrotsMany farmers in Jurikhet village of Makwanpur district have been growing carrots instead of their usual crops of maize, millet and beans because of high returns.
Many farmers in Jurikhet village of Makwanpur district have been growing carrots instead of their usual crops of maize, millet and beans because of high returns.
Carrot farming was introduced in the village around 21 years ago by Singha Bahadur Rana Magar and Sitaram Thapa. The duo received technical support from Plan Makwanpur which also constructed irrigation facilities to allow farmers to grow vegetables like carrots.
Today, the two earn around Rs200,000 to Rs400,000 annually from their carrot crops. Inspired by their success, many farmers have taken to growing the root vegetable which has brought them increased incomes and improved their living standard.
“Earnings from growing carrots have boosted the living standard of many farmers in Jurikhet village as they earn up to Rs500,000 a year,” said Rana Magar.
Jurikhet village contains around 40 households. They have currently dedicated around 250 ropanis to carrot farming.
As more and more people in this village are growing carrots, the village has earned the moniker of Carrot Village.
“Carrot farming has brought unimaginable changes to the lives of the people here,” said Surendra Thike, a local. “As a result, many people have stopped producing traditional agricultural products such as maize, millet and beans.”
Many people have been switching to carrot farming because the market for this product is still growing. Currently, farmers sell carrots for Rs40 to Rs60 per kg. They are using sigma, new kuroda, early nantes and other hybrid seeds to grow carrots. The root vegetable can be harvested two months after planting.
Around 600 to 1,000 kg of carrots can be grown on a ropani of land, according to Nirmal Gadal, chief of the Makwanpur Agricultural Development Office.
Nepal produces around 31,405 tonnes of carrots annually on 2,685 hectares of land, as per the latest report of the Ministry of Agricultural Development.
The Central Region is the largest producer of carrots in the country. It grows 12,330 tonnes of the vegetable, accounting for 39 percent of the total output.
The Eastern Region comes second with 10,000 tonnes, or 32 percent of the total. The Western Region takes third place with 5,100 tonnes, or 16 percent of the total carrots grown in the country.