Laxmi Tharu lives in Chakkhapur, Rajapur-3 with her family. She has 10 members in the family. She received 15 days farmer school training and vegetable tunnel support. She, along with her daughter-in-law- Reeta Chaudhary, have gained good income from off seasonal vegetable production. Last season, they harvested unseasonal vegetables worth 100000 NRs.
Mother-in-law, Laxmi Tharu, recounts how she had to take loans in previous floods to cope with the losses. She had two separate loans more than NrS 70,000 after 2072 floods. With the off-seasonal vegetable production; they have saved and paid off their loans. “It is a huge relief- when you don’t own any money to anyone,” she shared.
The income from the off seasonal vegetable cultivation has been encouraging. They have now extended their cultivation in newly leased land and added more tunnels as well. They now cultivate spinach, beans, cucumber, tomatoes, cauliflower, pumpkin etc.
The mother-daughter in law duo have used the savings to give good education to the children and invested the rest in joint savings. They also used the savings to enrol in Index based Flood Insurance policy. They have bought policy for 4 katthas of land.
When floods occurred last year, they received 25% of the insured amount in the cooperative amount. They are motivated by the profits of the tunnel farming- that they have registered their farm as well. “We can access more opportunities- more trainings after registration. We have also established a farmer saving group that will help us reach mor opportunities.”, Reeta shared. The farmers saving groups also helps to market the produce and good price for the vegetables.
As a part of Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, Practical Action and CSDR provided off farm and on farm livelihood diversification skills training to flood prone communities. The trainees also received tunnel support to start their businesses. The livelihood skill trainings have helped communities improve their financial capital and increase their savings. This has allowed community members to invest in resilience building activities and afford risk transfer mechanisms like IBFI policy.
The 25% payout of insurance helped them cope with the flood losses. they used the payout to buy more vegetable seeds and expand their cultivation. This year, they are planning to insure their whole land, as they think it’s a good investment. “It is easier to receive pay out in IBFI. We received SMS when money came. It’s hard for us to understand other regular insurance mechanism, but this insurance is easier and hassle free. Moreover, since our cooperative is leading it- it has made it much easier for us to understand. Many of our neighbours, who didn’t enroll last year regretted their decision. they also want to enroll in IBFI next year,” Laxmi shared.