As a corporate entity committed to serving the needs of society, Buddha Air firmly believes that charity begins at home. Our understanding is that any progressive transformation to be brought in society there has to be fundamental changes in the economy.
A large majority of Nepalese in rural areas rely on agriculture as a means of livelihood. With the growth of the economy, subsistence farmers are slowly turning to cash cropping to increase their income. This is a major challenge for the rural society as they have been practicing traditional agricultural methods which are not sufficient to meet the needs of the market.
Buddha Air recognized the need for innovative information and technology to be used in their farming techniques. Therefore in 2000, we started an agricultural extension program as a pilot project in Morang district. The program was initiated with the objective to help small scale local farmers gain access to market and increase their productivity through introduction of innovative technology to them. With our assistance, the farmers were able to increase their production output by applying appropriate fertilizer management, updated technology and better seeds.
As production output increased, Buddha Air also established the Smallholder Agribusiness Support (SABS) in Tankisinuwari and Hattimuda VDC of Morang with the objective to help reduce the debt burden of farmers. 14 farmer groups associated with SABS came together to form the Tankisinwari Agro-commodity Marketing Cooperative Ltd. The Cooperative provides loans to member farmers at the start of each plantation season at an interest of 12% per annum, much less than the 60% interest charged by middlemen. The farmers also have an option of preserving their products with the cooperative and selling it for a profit at the right time. Now, the programme has extended to 31 agriculture cooperatives across the Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari and Saptari districts. There are 18 cooperatives in Morang, 4 in Jhapa, 8 in Sunsari and a cooperative in Saptari. Similarly, more than dozen cooperatives are in pipeline to be affiliated. We provide support cooperatives for the promotion of agriculture in value chain from cultivation to grain marketing.
Buddha Air has also begun the process of planning to establish a Rural Development Bank that will focus on product banking and be involved in supporting each step of the agriculture extension program. We realize that our employees benefit from their services of the company. To enhance employee benefits our staff will be provided shares in the conceptualized Rural Development Bank, although a majority of the shares in the bank will remain with the concerned sector of the general public.
Buddha Air reiterates that the company remains committed to the growth of the nation and will continue serving the needs of society through our dedicated and reliable services. We will provide necessary improvements in needy sectors and look forward to seeing a prosperous Nepali society.
For more details please visit: www.nepalkrishi.com