Smallholder farmer becomes a big trader

Tank Roila quitted foreign employment option when orthodox of village youths had left Nepal. He chose vegetable farming as major source of income for livelihood. Together with family started cultivating vegetables in the uneven terrain of Belhara in Dhankuta. Roila's family used to carry production on their own and sell in to the market in the foothills at Guthitar Bazaar. At that time, he was making subsistence earning to support the family.

As the time passed on, Roila gradually earned more than the earlier year. Seeing this, one by one his neighbors were also inspired and started cultivating vegetables. Today, Belhera is popularly known as Tarkari Gaun (vegetable village). Villagers here produce good amount of vegetables, sometimes also face market shortage due to unhealthy competition. There are incidents that middlemen taking advantages of more margins therefore, villagers were reluctant in selling at cheaper prices.

With the upgraded —black topped road in Dhankuta, dwellers felt of accessibility in transportation services. Roila thought to collect villagers' production establishing —Navadurga Vegetable Store in Hile of Dhankuta, invested 3 Lakh Nepalese Rupees as initial investment. During this course, Rural Enterprises and Remittances Project "Samriddhi" was conducting the vegetable supply chain mapping survey where his business was also listed. Later, Roila was invited to participate in the province level Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) seminar, got the chance to interact with different layers of project beneficiaries. He was introduced to farmers, traders, service providers, different organization officials and so on. Also knew about training activities related to vegetable production, marketing and such. Later, RER Project facilitated Roila in making business agreement with the farmers 'groups as per the market demand and his transaction capacity. The formal alliance with RER Project added extra hope within him so Roila immediately started improvising collection center such as added extra manpower and arranged improved transportation service.

Today Roila is connected with more than 300 farmers and making transaction of approx 1500 MT of vegetables worth of Rupees 50, 00,000 annually. He has expanded his business to big markets in Dharan and Biratnagar. He employs 10 local youths in his store. On the other hand, farmers in Dhankuta are directly linked with authentic trader and therefore, unhealthy completion has been minimized. Roila has initiated using plastic crates and baskets for the bulk packaging of fresh produce as per the consumer's demand on safe and of high quality vegetables.