"The farmer has to be an optimist or he/she wouldn’t still be a farmer" – Will Rogers.
The success story of fish farmer Mrs. Januka Gurung from Prakshpur is a shining example of how optimistic dedication to fish farming has been able to transform a subsistence farmer to commercial farmer and become an inspirational female fish farmer in Barahachhetra Municipality of Sunsari District from the eastern part of Nepal.
It had been an incredible journey of Januka, a mother of two who in 2064 B.S entered the world of fisheries and allied activities. She started subsistence fish farming with financial support from a local cooperative without any surplus when she had water area coverage of 6 kattha and a single pond. During those initial years, she traveled to various places nearby concerning farming and realized that in this highly populated context there is a lot to do in fish farming and achieve better livelihood. Januka Gurung says — "I always wanted to do something on my own to support my family for better livelihood as my husband is abroad for work and I also have good family support."
The pursuit advanced further as Januka delved into the world of fish farming and concentrated her business precisely into live fish farming addressing the current market demand, she also adapted modern tools and technique, locally coordinated with some lead farmers in the area and with further financial support from Agricultural Development Bank she expanded water area to 15 kattha by 2072B.S
Januka after being nominated as chairperson of "Abhiyanmukhi Fish Farmers Group" which was formed by Rural Enterprises and Remittances Project (RERP) has developed her leadership abilities and she feels proud and obliged with her responsibilities in the group. After association with RERP she wishes to advance in the live fish production business by adopting modern farming technology like Bio-Floc which lets farmer enhance their products in small areas of land and is the best method for saving time, space and labor. Januka says that " It is encouraging for our group members because through RERP we have been assured with the market after B2B linkage program with the wholesaler plus we are also receiving (Rs20-40) more in each fish than that of what we did receive before, furthermore she adds that we are also encouraged with the practice of collective marketing which is a unique practice in our business."
Januka currently has her farm in 15 kattha with 2 ponds and she has planned to produce 15-20 Quintal of fish in her first harvest which will be in between (Bahdra-Aswin) after purchasing tools and equipment in support of RERP and in her own contribution. Soon, she is planning to develop more number of fish culture ponds as she has realized that profit is comparatively more in fish culture than other agriculture practices. Her hard work and perseverance have brought many benefits to her family and to the community, where she is inspiring others as a positive role model.