Leading The Change – Hukum Bahadur Basnet
The intervention by Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP), a flagship poverty alleviation initiative of the Government of Nepal-Ministry of Industry and UNDP has turned the life of Hukum Bahadur Basnet around for the better. With eighteen cows to look after, Basnet likes to keep himself busy. The family man and farmer who is a well trusted local figure in the community of Piparkhutti, Dang has been able to go beyond the world of dairy farming and develop himself into an exemplary micro-entrepreneur.
During the peak season, Basnet collects up to 100 litres of milk which he sells in the nearby town. Though only three years in operation, the proud dairy farm owner has successfully completed the transition from pig farming to dairy farming. Whilst he speaks positively about working in his own country and being his own boss, Basnet raises several crucial questions regarding the provisions of safeguarding livestock owned by thousands of farmers like him across the country. Speaking from experience, he added “I spent Nrs 80,000 on a cow that I believed would be with me for a long time. After producing milk three times, it caught a disease for which neither the vet nor I could do anything about. The fear of the cow posing a threat to health of other animals and humans resulted in me having to put the cow down. People like me want to work in our own lands and create opportunities for others but the state has to give more importance to us and this field for the brighter future of agriculture”. With a direct investment of Nrs 8 Lakhs on cows and a total of Nrs 16 Lakhs for the dairy farm, individuals such as Hukum Bahadur Basnet are in dire need for more guidance from experts in agriculture.
He speaks with optimism as he spreads the message “We have everything here in Nepal, we just have to get our acts together and do it”. From pig farming to dairy farming, the unstoppable Hukum Bahadur has also recently started his own restaurant business nearby. The earnings from his agribusiness has been able to support the higher education for his two sons, add an extension to his house and purchase a bike, car and a tractor. The pleased father quickly adds “It cost Nrs 15 Lakhs for my sons degree in bachelors in business administration which I was comfortably able to pay with the earnings from this enterprise”.
Basnet goes on to add, “I wish the sweat and blood Nepali youths are giving to the faraway nations could be used to nurture their own country. I can see opportunities everywhere”
Here is the full story (video) of Basnet: