The introduction of kitchen gardens and other holistic farm strategies increases the volume and quality of women's agricultural production, but many women have the potential to increase their output significantly enough to have a marketable surplus. Accordingly, ETC helps women's group members initiate or improve commercial production of cash crops such as flowers, vegetables, mushrooms, fruits, ginger, turmeric and cardamom.

In the Kathmandu Valley, with its ready access to urban grocery shops, some women's group members have experimented with leasehold farming and have grown cauliflower, squash, eggplant and tomato for local markets. Despite its risks, leasehold farming of commercially viable vegetables offers the opportunity to earn a substantial amount of money. To date, the ETC women's group members involved in leasehold farming have been quite successful. ETC is currently exploring cooperative marketing strategies to strengthen the commercial potential of women's group members.

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New opportunities from familiar plant

Megh Bahadur Tamang, Medical Assistant

Krishna Maya used to grow traditional varieties of flowers that she had gotten from a neighbor. Though she had a good income from this business, it was not adequate to sustain her family. When she had a chance to participate in ETC's flower production program, she thought "What kind of training would be needed in flower production?" But after participating in the training, she was fully convinced that it was necessary and worthwhile. As a result of the training, Krishna Maya was motivated to start a new flower production enterprise with ETC's assistance to increase her family's income. "At first, I did not believe that I could produce Gladiolas and make a profit. But, now, it came true!"