“It all seems like a dream. From a family living hand to mouth, we have come so far. I have become an entrepreneur! It feels good when people come to me asking about the secret of my success,” Amirkala Devi Ram shared reflecting on her dream journey.
Just a couple of years ago, life seemed quite bleak for Amirkala, a landless tenant from Inerwa in Siraha District, a part of Madhesh Province. Taking care of a family of six was a struggle for her. Every day she faced not being able to afford nutritious meals for her family because of her low income.
The year 2018 came with a turning point for Amirkala when she was invited to join a local savings and nutritional garden group. She came in contact with CARE Nepal’s trusted partner, the National Farmers Group Federation (NFGF), where she found out about various opportunities she could access. With renewed hope of improving her family’s economic situation, Amirkala eagerly joined the group.
Initially, Amirkala received input support of eleven ducklings and a cage for nutrition gardening to improve the nutritional status of her family. “I also received access to the public pond for the ducks as well as fishing, thanks to the project’s facilitation with the local government,” Amirkala shared. Through the group, Amirkala was also encouraged to venture into small scale business. “While initially the ducks were given to us to improve the nutritional status of our children, I was also able to earn NPR 30,000 (approx. 250 USD) in a year by selling duck eggs,” she added.
A year after she joined the group, Amirkala was able to access additional capital from a local credit group to scale her duck farming into a full-fledged poultry business. She invested NPR 400,000 (Approx. 3,000 USD) to raise 900 chickens and 100 ducks. She now earns anywhere between NPR 70,000 (Approx 535 USD) to NPR 90,000 (Appro. 690 USD) a month from her farm. Her son, who had to migrate to find work outside Nepal, now has the option of rejoining his family to help Amirkala manage her farm.
The success Amirkala has achieved in her business venture is also due to the classes she joined at one of the project’s Business Learning Centers (BLC). She learned about financial literacy and entrepreneurship along with business planning, marketing, and access to finance, which helped her further develop her business. She feels confident that the change brought about in her life by the group is permanent and the life skills she has learnt will help her grow as an entrepreneur in future as well.