Back from Malaysia to restart poultry farm in Sindhupalchowk

The restored poultry farm in Sindhupalchowk

The once-affected poultry business of Raj Kumari Bharati is now back in track. Photo by: Subas Pokhrel/Oxfam

But the earthquake made me dependent on donation and help from others.
Netra Bharati (visually impaired)

Subas Pokhrel, Sindhupalchowk

Raj Kumar Bharati, 34, of Kunchok Sindhupalchowk spent two years in Malaysia to expand his income to support his family of five members and send the kids to good school. He came back to Nepal with enough money to start a well-equipped poultry farm.

However, things turned upside down when earthquake of April 2015 destroyed his poultry farm. His newly built house was destroyed and livestock killed.  He suffered a loss of about NPR 6.5 lakh, which was quite a big amount for him. After the earthquake, he had neither a shelter to live nor food to eat.

It took him about a year to reach that pre-earthquake situation and revive his business. He has started selling live poultry and poultry meat. He has an agreement with a supplier for supply of chicks, feed, medicines and vaccines and has bought 350 chicks. Bharati was a recipient of Oxfam’s Livestock Recovery Grant (LRG) which helped him re-operate his business. He said the total cost of poultry farming was NPR 130,000 but he has already earned NPR 170,000 from his poultry business in just two months’ time.

Oxfam and partners have been providing Livestock Recovery Grant (LRG) in seven-earthquake affected districts to rehabilitate livelihoods of those whose livestock were severely affected by the earthquake. Until March 2017, more than 4600 people have received this grant in Sindhupalchowk alone. Through the grant, people share their business plan and get the grant in two instalments; some buy farm animals while others choose to reconstruct sheds for their animals or buy live feed or forage.

Hopes of a visually-impaired couple

Fifty-nine-year old Netra Bahdur Bharati of Kunchock, Sindhupalchowk has been visually impaired since his childhood; his wife too has visual impairment. The couple has five daughters—three married and two living with them. Although visually impaired, they have been raising goats and cattle for livelihood. They used to sell milk and live goats earlier but they lost their cow, three goats, and six pregnant she goats, a total loss of about NPR 130,000.

 “Until the earthquake, I was self-reliant; I used to earn NPR 120,000 to 150, 000 yearly which was sufficient to fulfil the needs of my family,” says Bharati adding, “But the earthquake made me dependent on donation and help from others.” The Ward Citizen Forum and the village development committee of Kunchowk forwarded his name to Oxfam and partners as a possible beneficiary for a recovery grant. The grant helped him restart his animal husbandry—he bought a cow and constructed cowshed.  “The cow is pregnant now,” shared Netra adding, “I hope to revive my business of selling milk.” 

          Netra in his newly constructed cowshed and the pregnant cow. Photo by: Subas Pokhrel/Oxfam