In the local communities; Nepal eAgro team
The HVAP program works with communities located in the hills and mountain areas. Today we had a chance to visit two of the communities that are located near Birendranagar.
Our first visit was with the Green Diamond cooperative in Utterganga. The area was full of fruit trees and vegetables, some in better shape than others.
Where there was micro-irrigation the vegetables were mostly thriving, others did well with mulch and hand watering, but many of them didn’t look very healthy in the dry heat. It was great to see how well the eAgro suite of applications could benefit these farmers.
Our primary goal there was to understand the area and application of the eAgro system and a key part of this was seeing the farms and understanding the soil test. The Local Resource Providers (LRPs) conducted a soil test for us on a plot of land that was about to b planted. The LRPs had been trained by soil scientists in the process and had been provided a test kit to help them do so. They followed a scientific process- getting a good random sample of the test plot, including proper processing of the dirt and mixing to ensure the bits they tested were representative of the entire plot.
Using the proper reagents, they took measurements of the pH levels, Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potash levels in the field. This particular field was acidic and had very low levels of all the nutrients. With the struggling nearby plots, it wasn’t a surprise that the soil had nutrient deficiency.
Later that afternoon we went to the Sanosurkhet Farmer Cooperative to meet with another set of LRPs. When we arrived it seemed like the whole cooperative had gathered to hear us. We spent a small amount of time where everyone was introduced. Mr. Krishna did a great job speaking with the village and explaining to them what eAgro does, and the information that it provides to them. He seems to be quite the public speaker- everyone was enthralled and smiling as he spoke.
After this introduction, the LRPs followed the same scientific method to test a local plot with slightly different results. In this plot the pH was more neutral, nitrogen was “medium” and the Phosphorous and Potash levels showed deficient.
Overall, a great day and we gained lots of insight into the communities that would be using the eAgro suite of applications.