ITAHARI: The farmers in our country generally do not like fields covered with a large number of stones. But, the number of stones in one’s field in Yangsila of Morang would determine how rich a farmer is! Well, till recently when the story got a twist after the government put a ban on the supply of stones and sand.
People in the hilly villages of Morang including Yangsila found a totally new way of becoming rich after contractors started buying stones from the fields for construction related needs, paying a handsome amount in return to the farmers.
With this, every farmer in the village seemed busy calculating the stones in terms of monetary value. Nara Bahadur Limbu of Yangsila-5 has not sold the stones of his 2.5 bighas of land. “I am waiting for an offer of Rs 4 lakh,” he said, adding that the contractors are willing to pay a little less. I will sell as soon as I get the right price, he said. Nara Bahadur also claimed that selling the stones would not reduce the fertility of the field. “The fertility would be affected only if we dig out the stones from the ground,” he said.
More than 1,000 families in Yangsila-5, 8 and 9, who have been toiling for generations to produce a little quantity of maize and corn, are now optimistic. The agricultural production would increase once all the stones are removed and sold for a price, they think.
“As the contractors themselves started taking them away, paying money to us, the stones are no headache any more,” said local Buddhiraj Limu of Yangsila-9. “I earned 1.5 lakh selling the stones from a bigha of land last year,” he said.
Transport entrepreneur Roshan Subba said, “The stones were available for free in the past. But now, we need to pay. It has helped both the contractors and the local farmers.”
The locals however have been worried after the government put a ban on supplying the stone and sand both within and outside the country. “We were earning some money. But nowadays contractors do not come here, saying that the government has put a ban on buying stones,” he said.