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Stories from the Field: Khem Narayan Dhungana

Stories from the Field: Khem Narayan Dhungana

Khem Narayan Dhungana is from Ward no. 5 of Bardaghat Municipality in Parasi district, is the Treasurer of the Association of Family Forest Owners (AFFON), and is fully committed to preserving the pristine forests in his area. Khem is also actively involved in educating his fellow villagers on the importance of sustainable forest management.  After spending eight years in Saudi Arabia and four years in Iraq, he tried his luck in the hotel business in Kathmandu for two years. Searching for a greater sense of motivation, he returned to Bardaghat and finally settled there.

Dhungana and his wife Punam then started planting trees in 2018 on two hectares of degraded and underutilized land, which he bought for relatively cheap, at Rs. 100,000 per Kattha, a standard unit of 1,361 square feet. They planted several fruit-bearing and non-fruit-bearing trees, including 300 Malaysian Sal trees, red Sandalwood trees, dragon fruit, lemon, and avocado.

The Forests for Prosperity Project (FPP)  objective is to improve sustainable forest management by increasing benefits from forests and ultimately reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in selected municipalities of Madhesh and Lumbini provinces.

To achieve this goal, the FPP project aims to work with private forest owners like Khem Narayan Dhungana to plant trees and conduct agroforestry activities on degraded, underutilized, or marginal land and degraded public land. The FPP will reach out to around 16,000 farmers in Madhesh and Lumbini provinces to establish about 5,000 hectares of trees and agroforestry activities on their private land.

Check out the video below to see what Khem Narayan Dhungana says.