Nettle, an unwanted weed turns into a green enterprise

October 7, 2020

Until recently, the farmers of Temal rural municipality, Kavre thought the Stinging Nettle was one of the most unwanted shrubs they would like to see growing in their field. They were unaware the fact that there is huge demand of Stinging Nettle in the international and local market for its medicinal properties.

They are now making money out of what had long been one of the most unwanted weeds. “We had never thought this weed can be of such a high financial value,” said Ms. Shanta Lama, one of the 21 participants who were selected for the training organized by UNDP’s Community Infrastructure and Livelihood Recovery Programme (CILRP) and Temal Rural Municipality.

The local farmers, 16 of them women, were trained on nettle leaves collection, drying, grinding, and packaging along with basics of business development. They were also provided with necessary technological support, including a solar dryer, a grinder and a packaging machine.

“This training opened our eyes to the value of nettle as a potential crop,” said Lama.

The nettle powder enterprise has raised hopes for a large number of people in the village after the project demonstrated that there is a market potential of nettle powder for its medicinal values. Nettle powder fetch a good price in Nepali market, NRs 500-1000 per kilo. “Right after the training, I sold 5 kilos of Sishnu powder to a department store in Vakundebeshi at the rate of Rs 800per kg and earned 40,000 NRs. This has encouraged all of us to engage in this green enterprise,” Lama added.

“This Sishnu powder production training is organized for the first time in this Rural Municipality to broaden the economic opportunities in the community, and we as a local government will continue promoting eco-friendly farming in our local area.” Said Temalsing Lama, ward chair of Temal Rural Municipality 2.

Nettle cultivation does not require any fertilizers or pesticides, making it safe and organic. As a green business, this enterprise follows eco-friendly practices like using limited energy, zero greenhouse gas emission and minimum waste, which help protect the environment.

The training programme conducted from 18to 20 September 2020 which was implemented by Shanti Jana Adarsha Sewa Kendra in co-ordination with Milijuli Farmer’s Group all safety standards against COVID-19.