Business does not always have to be about profit – it can also be about bringing societal changes. The basic needs of life: food, clothing, and shelter, are the fundamental things for anyone seeking a good life. Sarawal Farm, situated amidst the natural beauties of Nawalparasi, is a company focused on fulfilling those necessities through natural organic ways.
Weaving with Nature
Before we obtain food from the market, they lay connected with nature in their pristine state, and we as humans, also need to realign ourselves to nature in order to lead healthier lives. Sarawal Farms, a startup founded by youths of various agricultural backgrounds, has weaved deeply with nature since September of 2018.
“We aim to create our farm as a paradise for people by providing them with the pleasures of organic farming. It’s a labour of love. We produce healthy organic foods as well as teach people how to foster their own organic farms,” says Mr Rohan Pandey, co-founder.
With the goal of reconnecting people with nature, it has been commercially producing fresh local vegetables, fruits, and dairy products without the use of chemicals for the past two years.
Exploring the Farm and its Luxuries
With the “moo!” of cows, “baa!” of goats, fishes splashing in the ponds, and fresh organic food budding along with the seasons, the joy of experiencing various aspects of nature can be found right in a single place. Further, with a restaurant located right in between the farms, people can enjoy the comfort of relaxing and observing nature closely.
Adorned with the seasonal beauty of nature, Sarawal Farm is embedded in the jewels of various fruits like organic litchis, mangoes, garden lemons, pomegranate, guavas, and papayas. Besides, the environment buzzes along with the tunes of cows, goats, ducks, and other poultry animals going about their lives.
“Our dream is to establish a natural connection with the people, and give them a chance to observe and experience basic agriculture techniques first-hand which they can also apply easily at their own homes.“
Entrepreneurship Interwoven with Social Change
Delving into the Agriculture field is not an easy undertaking, because good return is only possible after being well-established. So an entrepreneur in this field needs a lot of patience. While other businesses can run unceasingly all year round, agricultural farming is often unpredictable, with success determined seasonally.
“We cannot tell how much we may earn; it completely depends on the production that occurs in a particular season. Yet at the end of the day, we are satisfied with the fact that we are the main producers of organic food and are helping people naturally fulfil their basic needs.” shares Mr Rohan Pandey.
The restaurant has a graining hall in which they provide training to the locals regarding the proper techniques of agriculture. Along with lounging in the periphery of the farm, people can also observe and learn about its procedures. Many people set up their agriculture business inspired by YouTube videos, but more often than not, the wrong processes and techniques lead to failure. The company collaborates with an experienced team of farmers which informs them about the traditional and modern approaches to farming that lead to sustainable productivity.
Sowing the Idea of Local Agriculture
Sarawal Farms was set up with the investment from its 4 founding members in 2018 and has been successfully providing services locally ever since.
“The problem with a start-up in agriculture is that there is no data available for the people to know what works and what doesn’t. The government also has not provided much help to nurture the agricultural capability of our country,” shares Ms Akriti Shrestha, the other co-founder.
Nepal imports a large number of vegetables and poultry every day which could have been easily produced locally. The power of entrepreneurship has not yet boosted the field of agriculture as it should, especially in places like Nawalparasi, where people own enormous fields which can be thoroughly utilized. The idea to train local people and youths about the importance of farming and help them be entrepreneurs themselves was the main motivation for the team. The company dreams of one-day transforming countless localities into rich sites of sustainable organic farming and transforming Nepal into a self-sufficient nation.
An Inspiration to Entrepreneurs
Though entrepreneurship is accelerating innovation in many areas, youth entrepreneurs often miss out on the opportunity that lies at the heart of nature. “The market is not as competitive as it should be. It’s not much fun being an entrepreneur if you do not have much competition. Along with our own business, we are trying to generate more entrepreneurs in the agricultural field so that together we can provide services and train people.” insights Pandey.
The lockdown has obviously affected the commercial business of the company; they had to sell their seasonal produce at a much lesser price. The challenge of geography and transport has also made a huge impact on the delivery of products. However, after the lockdown, they aim to reinvigorate their business with a target of selling about 60 thousand fruit yield, 1 lakh kilograms of fish, 50 thousand litres of milk, and 200 goats. Though it seems far-fetched, the hardworking team at Sarawal Farms believes that all can be achieved with patience and proper timing.