In Dhading’s Ruby Valley Rural Municipality-1, you’ll find Machet, a high-altitude village near the Chinese border. Despite its remote location and challenging terrain, Machet is known for its delicious apple orchards. However, a lack of road access presents a significant obstacle for selling their produce.
Lawrence Lama, a resident of Machet, embarked on apple farming five years ago, and today, his orchards yield high-quality fruits. In this Himalayan-connected village, these apples are a sight to behold. Unfortunately, the lack of transportation infrastructure renders their journey to the market an arduous one. Lama laments, “Despite our abundant produce, the village’s remote location has prevented us from selling our apples in the market.”
Each tree in this valley can bear up to 60 kilograms of apples, ensuring a consistent supply. Lama recalls, “In the initial years, only a few trees bore fruit. Last year, however, hailstorms forced us to prematurely harvest our apples, which we couldn’t sell in the market.”
During the dry season, a jeep arrives in the village two to three times a week, but the monsoon season makes the village inaccessible by road. Transporting apples to the market becomes an even more formidable challenge. Lama shares, “As of yesterday, apples remained unsold in both Dhading’s KimtangFedi and Rasuwa’s Syafrubesi waterfall. Even within the village, we struggle to find buyers due to the lack of access.”
Lama has planted two hundred apple trees across five ropanis of land, resulting in an impressive two thousand kilograms of apples ready for harvest. While apples from India and China fetch around four hundred rupees per kilo in urban markets, Lama has opted to sell his apples within the village at a mere one hundred fifty rupees per kilo. However, the absence of a road to the market poses a significant challenge to this endeavor.
Despite holding a degree in law, Lama now works for a non-governmental organization. Inspired by the sight of two hundred apple trees at his home during his studies, he decided to embark on apple farming. Lama also credits his mother, Nemarani Lama, and brother Johann Lama for their contributions to this agricultural endeavor. If we calculate based on an average of thirty kilograms per tree, the Lamas are poised to produce an impressive six thousand kilograms of apples. Unfortunately, the absence of a cold storage facility in the village makes selling these apples a daunting task. Lama has called upon the government to establish both a cold storage facility and road networks to address these challenges.
Beyond its agricultural significance, Machet’s apple farming has also become a point of interest for tourists. Situated approximately 155 kilometers from Kathmandu, this picturesque village can be reached via Dhading’s Galchhi, connecting to Rasuwa’s Syabru Bensi through Dhading’s Somdang and Pang Sang Nisker.
To savor Machet’s apples, feel free to get in touch via the following contact number: +977 9841117532 or connect through their Facebook page: बोराङ सेरोफेरो.