Seeing her mother’s struggle to get the deserved benefits for her efforts in the field, Sunita Nhemaphuki thought of bringing change in the agricultural sector in Nepal in hopes that the tremendous efforts involved in managing agriculture are paid rightfully to the people involved in the agriculture sector like her own mother. Her husband, Mr. Damber Khanal, a graduate of Information Technology in Agriculture from Singapore, shared a similar vision. Both of them wanted agricultural reform. Together, they founded R&D innovative solutions in order to bridge the gap between the consumers and the farmers.
Agriculture employs over 70% of the population and accounts for 33% of the total GDP. However, most farmers do not realize this scope of agriculture. There is a general lack of seriousness, lack of proper agriculture mapping and a huge clash between the services provided and the present issues. In order to provide information about agriculture and address these issues, Sunita Nhemaphuki, along with her business partner Damber Khanal, launched a magazine for farmers called ‘Krishak ra Prabidhi’. They took help from experts and other practitioners to collect articles for the magazine. They included stories from farmers and contact information for every story so that the readers can verify and seek assistance. Then, they decided to provide agricultural consultation services through ‘Krishi Udhyamsala’ and initiated ‘Krishi Club’ as a platform for farmers to share stories and experiences. Through the Krishi Club sessions, they realized that the farmers were not receiving the right value for their agricultural products. Thus, to tackle this problem and reduce the role of middlemen in the agriculture sector they founded ‘Green Mart’, a vegetable retail chain business that provides fresh vegetables at the right price.
Funding and capital investment were a particular problem for R&D. They borrowed money from banks. They started with an amount of Rs 25,000 and continued to grow. ‘It is a continuing investment for us,’ shares Damber Khanal.
R&D boasts of being the only private organization in Nepal totally dedicated in the agribusiness consulting. ‘Krishak and Prabidhi’ is the largest selling agriculture magazine with more than 5000 subscribers. Their business venture has received great response from farmers. In the near future, R&D plans to expand their Green Mart Project by providing fresh vegetables to each neighborhood.
With all 9 to 5 job holders in her family, Sunita Nhemaphuki was expected to follow the trend. However, she had quite the opposite plans for herself. ‘I didn’t want to be secure. I wanted to become a leader,’ she relates. She believes in giving happiness to others and shares that having such a motive requires a good deal of personal sacrifices. Sunita also believes that people do not have the habit of working hard. She emphasizes that everyone should realize the value of labor in order to succeed.
Unlike most people, Sunita Nhemaphuki and Damber Khanal don’t discourage the trend of foreign employment in youths. The capital crisis is the major problem for us and there is a lack of investment in many sectors. They believe that it would be a good idea for youth to collect capital from foreign employment and invest it in Nepal afterward. Sunita Nhemaphuki and Damber Khanal share their success story together and believe that an entrepreneur has to address everyone’s problems, always be present directly or indirectly. They must be eager to learn and upgrade and must be achievers with willpower.