Monday, November 7, 2011

For the love of the soil.

Paddy Field, ready to harvest
The month of Ashoj – Kartik( sep- oct and nov-dec) is the happy months for the most farmers in Nepal.) After all, the seeds they have sowed 5-6 months before has now reaped fruits for them. Yes, this is the harvesting season of paddy, for farmers. All the fields covered by green paddy have now started to turn gold. So farmer here are so eager to treasure them in their home, before they start to fall apart from the dry plant. The production of rice is a great thing specially, in the country like Nepal, where the field irrigation is totally dependent upon the monsoon rain, and so hard to manage the agricultural requirement like fertilizers manpower and lack of techno friendly equipments, where people still follow the traditional method for the cultivation and harvesting. Still the people here suffer from the inactive government policies. Irrespective to the drawbacks mentioned above, half of the populations are still dependent in agriculture for the subsistence. Somewhere people themselves have tried to overcome these weaknesses on their own effort and started to modern cultivation method. And this is actually a positive initiative in the field of agriculture in Nepal.
rice fields

So, that was just a short preview of agricultural scenario of Nepal in wholesome. Hereby I am going to discuss the way how the people in Nepal harvest their paddy fields. A one-day-photo-diary of harvesting paddy field inside Kathmandu valley , Nepal.(village: Thecho. District: Lalitpur).

people busy in cutting rice

Most people here are semi-dependent on agriculture, i.e people cannot completely rely on the agricultural products nor they can completely leave behind agriculture and choose any other alternative occupation. Even most people are trying to jump to another alternative because of poor return from agricultural products. The alternative occupation such as: government jobs, private business, IT related jobs, handicrafts production, etc and some high profile hobs like doctors, engineers, lawyers etc. are attracting the new generation of this place. The village treasures the large portion of cultivable land and the major products include wheat, rice, maize, potatoes, etc. Some people are starting commercial cultivation for their earning which includes mushrooms, tomatoes and other vegetables products.

cleaning area so that to make place for rice harvesting

As said earlier, this is the season of paddy harvesting, so all the people here are busy in their fields. Even people having their jobs takes leave from their jobs or business and gets involved in their field, with their family members. The family members themselves are not enough for the working in field, so they ought to hire extra manpower. And this demand is fulfilled by the peoples coming down from the hills of ‘lele’ .‘makwanpur‘ which is somehow 15-30kms south from the village. On the working day, the male members of family reaches field early by 7-8am in the morning, while some female sits home for preparing meals and lunch for the day time. The rice plant is cut using sickle and are collected in one place ready to be beaten upon the machine to separate seeds from the plant. Altogether minimum 6 peoples are required to be involved to get the work done swift. Then as the seeds are collected enough then it is filled in a sack and carried to home by the workers, while other involves in cutting plants and beating rice plants onto machine. Now the beaten plants without rice seeds are arranged round such that it will be easy to recollect again later and will dry well decay in natural environment.

carrying rice plant.

seperating rice seeds from plant using machine
The grains so collected are now taken to home and collected to dry them in sun for next 15 days and then stored in to granary for the consumption. The excess amount of rice is sold to market via broker for the financial purpose. The rice collect this way is now saved for the next whole year until the next harvesting season of rice. That means, if the production is high the coming year is going to be good and if less, you can say how the year is going to be. That’s why it is said, this is the season of sowing grams and reaping quintals.(mana falayera muri bhitryaune mahina).

the cleaned seeds by then, getting ready to carry home.

women busy in cleaning rice grains from husks and dusts.