From an early age, tending to cattle was part of Shree Madhuri’s life. She remembers the childhood that she shared with her friends–crossing small rivulets and going to nearby woods and grasslands taking her cattle to graze. As the cattles grazed, she spent time with friends weaving wild flower garlands, enjoying a little picnic, and playing side by side. Unfortunately, this romantic-sounding routine came at the expense of dropping out of school--for her and her friends alike. Married off early, Shree Madhuri could not find the same joy in tending cattle later, for it burdened her as she and her husband had to do much more than farming and rearing cattle to make ends meet. And having no education did not help.
UKaid सीप’s partnership with Sana Kisan Laghubitta Bittiya Sansthan (SKBBL) is designed to support and harness the potential of smallholder farmers like Shree Madhuri and enable their agri-entrepreneur dreams. Utilizing a collateral-free loan (Sambriddhi Karja) of NPR 20,00,000, Shree Madhuri purchased seven new buffalos and a cow, improved the shed, and purchased equipment to support her dairy endeavor. Plus, she does not need to look for new markets to sell her produce. A local Small Farmers’ Agricultural Cooperative that she’s connected to, also through सीप’s partnership with SKBBL, buys at least 30 litre of milk from her, and helps her secure up to NPR 2,500 in sales every day. Among 100 others small cooperatives have teamed up with SKBBL as part of their partnership with सीप.
Between January 2021 to March 2022, our partnership with SKBBL has benefited:
✅ 2,252 people from financial literacy and business development training, followed by market linkages.
✅ An estimated 6,130 households with easy and hassle-free entrepreneurship loans at affordable interest rates.
✅ An estimated 1,684 migrant households with affordable pre-migration loans.
✅ An estimated 7,814 people/households with savings accounts and remittance transfer services.
Shree Madhuri has found a way to productively channel her farming experience. She feels, rearing cattle has brought back the same joy that she felt as a child, as her gleaming smile in these photos show. At UKaid सीप, economically empowering farmers like Shree Madhuri, brings us deep joy and sense of success–especially in light of the fact that 80 percent of women are employed in agriculture in Nepal, yet their contributions are largely unacknowledged, and struggle to break out of the subsistence-based and minimal productive return cycle.
Today, and all of March 2022, as we celebrate and recognize the contributions of women across various sectors and spheres, we’re taking a moment to highlight rural-based farmers and agri-entrepreneurs like Shree Madhuri who’re working hard and leading the baton of food production, helping rural economies grow and contributing to our collective food security! A step at a time, with support from institutions like SKBBL and women like Shree Madhuri, we CAN BREAK THE BIAS in the agriculture sector.