Ms Sagira Khatun belongs to a Muslim community in Rautahat district. She represents Brahmsthan Rural Women Farmers Group of Yamuna Mai Rural Municipality, ward no 4 in Rautahat district. She is 45 years old and her husband live in a small mud hut with their children. She has eight children � four daughters, four sons and one grandson. Her elder daughter, whose husband is currently in Malaysia in foreign labour migration, is also living in the same house with her four children- one son and three daughters.
Her family owns a small patch of land covering an area of 0.16 hectare, where she has small mud house (in a form of hut) to accommodate her entire family. Her family has leased one hectare of land. The family also has two buffalos and three goats. Muslim communities in Nepal are considered as minority group. The women within this community often experience various forms of discrimination and negative impacts of adverse social norms and practices such as domestic violence, preference of sons, restriction in women's mobility etc. As for Sagira, she was able to step out of her house due to poor economic condition of her family. JP RWEE has been supporting rural women farmer's group with quality inputs, training at field level, collective production and marketing of the vegetable produced in Rautahat district in close collaboration with local relevant government institutions.
Sagira was engaged in Brahmsthan Rural Women Farmers Group since the initial phase of the JP RWEE in 2016. The JP RWEE provided her technical know-how through on the spot training such as nursery establishment, transplanting, group meeting, line agencies coordination, harvesting and marketing. She received training on commercial vegetable farming. Sagira's engagement in the JP RWEE supported in transfer of her knowledge and skills to entire family.
Currently, her entire family is engaged in cultivation of the vegetable in 0.43 hectare areas of the leased land and grow cauliflowers, cabbage, chili, tomato, cucumber, eggplant, sponge gourd, bitter gourd, ladies finger and bottle gourd. The JP RWEE also provided leadership training to rural women in the programme districts. This supported Sagira to enhance her leadership skills and raise her voice during the group meetings. I was able to make decision within women's group for the first time in my life says Sagira.
Her village has access to road for marketing of her produce. She earned NPR 10,000.00 (USD 87.67) at the beginning stage of the programme. Now, she is earning NPR. 100,000.00 (USD 876.76) per season from the selling of fresh vegetable. Her family is also benefitting extra income of NPR 40,000.00 (USD 350.70) through the cereal production like rice and wheat which they learnt from Sagira under the JP RWEE. Earlier, her husband used to work in India as a seasonal labour worker, and now he is working hard in their farm at home. The efforts of Sagira, after her enrollment in the training provided under the JP RWEE is bringing home a reliable source of income amounting a sum of NPR 400,000.00 per annum (USD 3,507.07). This efforts of her also allowed her to engage more in the family level decision-making process which was a rare case earlier.
Her group members are responsive and contributed to marketing system for the supply. They noticed the income generation through commercial production and in the same line improved their families' livelihoods and enhanced their own empowerment. Sagira expresses gratefulness for women's economic empowerment efforts through the interventions of the JP RWEE in Nepal.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations