A journey with aQysta’s GROWN in Nepal

Lush green lands, friendly people, and the world’s best momos – that’s the mental image of Nepal I’ve held for all these years, thanks to friends and colleagues from Nepal.

A sudden notification on a random weekday took me by surprise when I was asked if I’d be willing to travel to Nepal. The purpose? To get a closer look at aQysta’s operations in Nepal, gather content for marketing, see the impact we are creating as well as meet my colleagues with whom I’ve been working for over two years now.

With slight hesitation, I agreed and hastily planned the trip, eventually landing in Kathmandu after a long flight.

What followed in the next two weeks was truly unexpected and thrilling.

Nepal’s Rural Realities

My journey commenced with a field visit to the western regions of Nepal, primarily where most of aQysta Nepal’s GROWN farm incubator activities, including renewable energy irrigation systems, are implemented.

Coming from Assam, India, I thought I have had my fair share of experiences with rural environments, and I believed I was tough enough to adapt to any kind of situation. Or so I thought. However, six hours of rocky roads and narrow pathways shattered my assumptions about “rural” areas. My Nepalese colleagues found immense amusement in witnessing my plight.

A GROWN experience

Our first stop was Lamjung, where a beautiful, almost picturesque view greeted us upon arrival at the location of the Integrated Turbine Pump (ITP); it is a hydro-powered irrigation pump providing irrigation water without any fuel or electricity
Here, we met Amrit (Civil Hydraulics Engineer)and Anup (Agri-field officer), our colleagues who currently work in that area because it is more accessible. They briefed us about the functionality of the ITP and the ongoing work in the Lamjung field.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Prabha Ghimire, a GROWN farm incubatee. She discussed her involvement in farming alongside five other female farmers who received training from Anup, the agricultural field officer. Prabha expressed her joy at being a part of GROWN, as it has provided her with an additional source of income. She is optimistic about the prospect of continuing this work in the future.

Despite the occasional rain, we managed to survey the entire Lamjung site and collect valuable stories, and witness the impact are making and could potentially have in the area

The day was spent traveling across locations and thereafter the night introduced us to a variety of bugs!

Nepal Farmer
Lamjung site, Nepal

aQysta’s HyPump in Action

Our next stop was Labarkot, where we marveled at the spectacular HyPump technology. Pictures had not prepared me for the magnificent sight, and it was truly remarkable to witness it in operation. While speaking with the farmers from Labarkot, they mentioned that with the water supply from HyPump, they can now irrigate throughout the year. The water is being pumped to a whopping 65 meters high and 1200 meters from the pump. It took us 30 minutes to walk from the pump to the field where the water was being pumped.

Hy Pump in Labarkot, Nepal
HyPump, Nepal

Offroading to Syangja, Nepal

At last stop, we traveled towards Syangja, offroading almost 4 km to reach our destination. This was the most challenging journey I had to endure during my entire trip to Nepal. We have been working on setting up and enhancing a value chain for organic ginger. Mr. Dutta was among the individuals involved in this endeavor. We bonded over roasted corn and Nashpati (Pears) while he shared his insights on the need for organic farming and international marketing possibilities as well.

Syanjha, Nepal
Roasted Corn

aQysta’s initiative with GROWN

The vision of aQysta’s GROWN initiative, evident through our journey from the incubator in Lamjung to the HyPump in Labarkot, demonstrates our commitment to supporting smallholder farmers from water to market. It’s a testament to the remarkable contributions of each and every member of the aQysta Nepal team.

This unforgettable experience has underscored the urgency of intensifying our marketing efforts to showcase the exceptional work of the entire aQysta Nepal team and tell the untold stories.

My field visit trip concluded with a week of working from the Nepal office. All in all, I was able to see a bigger picture than what I used to perceive through numerous videos and pictures. I am excited to go back again, and next time I will hopefully be better prepared for the mountains, curvy roads and bugs!

For more updates on aQysta’s GROWN incubator follow us on our LinkedIn page.

-Bipasha Sarma

Global Marketing Ofiicer at aQysta