Agriculture Model

Hira Lal Sunar at his agriculture model in Mathillo Dhand

The project’s overarching goal of promoting sustainable development in Dhungentar involved engaging the locals as stakeholders in their own livelihood betterment. Hence, helping a local build an agriculture model with an integrated farming system capable of generating income was deemed to be a suitable catalyst for wider community action and replication. Hira Lal Sunar, a project beneficiary residing in Mathillo Dhand, was identified as a champion who would be committed (financially and physically) to this venture. 

The principal aim of building this model was to help others in the community realise the benefits of implementing innovative and tested methods of agricultural production, thereby encouraging them to adopt the same technologies. The 20 ana (6,845 sq. ft.) model farm used an integrated approach to livelihood improvement through increased and diversified farm yield and effective resource management.

This approach involves using the by-products of daily household or farming activities as inputs for other farming activities. For instance, harvested rain water and household waste water collected in a plastic-lined pond can be used for drip-feed irrigation. Hira Lal Sunar’s agriculture model exhibits different methods for the optimal use of water (plastic-lined pond, drip-feed irrigation) and recycling of farm waste for agricultural production. The model offers diversified sources of income, ranging from organic farming in a multi-crop system and floriculture to systematic fishery and beekeeping—which allow for economic security and further growth. 

Sunar’s agriculture model will hopefully act as a springboard for community-wide implementation of innovative, modern agricultural technologies that can improve livelihoods and help build a resilient mountain village.

Hear from the people 

"I used to be away constantly for construction work. But after the earthquake struck and my little daughter was diagnosed with a heart condition, I wanted to work closer to home. I got the opportunity to work on the plastic tunnelling installed in the project’s model house. I was quite impressed with what you could do with it, so I was readying bamboos to construct my own. Then, as luck would have it, the project approached me. They said they’d help me in creating a modern farm in my land. But they also warned me that I would need to work hard. And so I did. You have to slog if you want something to be good, don’t you? We started with a plastic tunnel, we kept adding new systems, and now we’ve got something the whole village can learn from. They come to me for advice now! And I tell them what I’ve learned: you need to care for each sapling like you would your children—like everything depended on it. And you need to learn from learned people and work hard. Anything will grow then."
- Hira Lal Sunar, Mathillo Dhand


The first plastic tunnel in Hira Lal Sunar’s agriculture model being set up 
Hira cutting hay for the mushroom tunnel, with the completed plastic tunnel and drip-feed tank in the background 
Shanti, Hira’s wife, feeding fish in the plastic pond
Mixed-cropping system in the plastic tunnel
Mushroom sprouting inside the mushroom tunnel 
Harvested rain water pours into the fish pond
Hira observes his beehive