Five years ago, Bina Pradhan’s husband, a teacher, had to quit the job due to family reasons.
This meant Bina, a resident of Majhuwa-1, Ramechhap, had to step in to take financial responsibility of her husband, her family, and her children, including their school fees.
The only way she could do that was by selling maize. As traditional farmers, all Bina’s family knew was to grow maize. But she wanted to do something more. She wanted to make the most of the land her family owned.
She would find just what she was looking for, in an article on a local paper on how commercial farming of herbs was a profitable and sustainable business.
Inspired by the story of farmers, who had succeeded in the herbal business, Bina, along with her husband, decided to take up the challenge. There were many hurdles that the Pradhans had to face when they decided to try something new.
First of all, her friends and relatives objected to her ideas and discouraged her. “Remember that you are a mother and your main responsibility is to raise children,” they would say.
“Why is she pursuing a mad idea of planting herbs in her cornfields?” others would taunt her.
The remarks made Bina sad. But sadness of this kind would not deter Bina from her course. “I had to constantly remind myself that innovation requires risk-taking and the only way to succeed is to work hard and work diligently.”
Finally, Bina and her husband experimented with herbal farming on 15 ropanis of land the family owned. The experiment succeeded. With rising profit and yield, they expanded their operation and distribution every year. Now they have put 50 ropanis of land in use.
Bina has now become a role model for many in her village, and her story has motivated locals to take up new ideas and to embark on their own entrepreneurial journey.
Looking at her farm grow, many followed in her footsteps. The same people, who had earlier discouraged her from venturing into new areas, praised her effort.
Bina has now become a role model for many in her community.
Bina runs her business under the name Pradhan Jadibuti P(Ltd). She grows hing, jing, rosemary, thulo ausadhi, white museli, aloe vera, kurilo, lemon grass, medhaan, and camomile at her farm.
She also employs four young people from her community. She says she makes profits to the tune of Rs 2.5 million each year.
The modest and humble Bina is happy that she earns enough to send her children to the best educational institutions in Nepal.
Bina has now become a role model for many in her village, and her story has motivated locals to take up new ideas and to embark on their own entrepreneurial journey. Through her sheer passion, hard work and determination to succeed, Bina has proven that hard work always gets rewarded.
Recently, Daayitwa Enterprise Challenge selected Bina Pradhan as one of the Top 10 entrepreneurs of Ramechhap. Bina and nine other entrepreneurs were awarded Rs 25,000 each for their effort.
Translated by Astha Shrestha Joshi
(The author is associated with Daayitwa)