- Agriculture Research Center (ARS), Pakhribas, Dhankuta
ARS, Pakhribas was established in 1972 A.D. It was financially supported by UK government aid. It was formerly aimed to established as a hill-station for facilitating retired British army personnels. Likewise, this organization also promoted agricultural extension services. At current, it has been intensively involved in agricultural research, education and extension in simultaneous manner. This was formally provided to Government of Nepal in 1998 A.D. This place is located at about 4 km west from Hile Bazaar at the altitude of 1100-2000 masl with area coverage of 92 hectare.
During the visit of ARS (Agriculture Research Center) Pakhribas, we had a blissful experience. We got chance to visit horticultural farms, seed stores, weather station, Heli-Pad area, tea gardens, floricultural, agronomy, plant breeding, animal breeding and poultry departments and farms. There were many plastic tunnels where both off-season and seasonable vegetables were grown for research purpose. There were beautiful red colored single and double stored buildings decorated with beautiful flower gardens and lawns connected with stone paved pathways over the south-facing hill terrains that led to the fantastic panoramic land-scape design. Large number of species of flower were blooming during the visit. There were well managed cafeteria to have foods, washroom facility, quarters, experimental fields and market at the vicinity of ARS. Recently, Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU) have established an affiliated campus for studying Bachelors of Science in Agriculture which is located at the western side of ARS periphery which has added up the genuine meaning of “Land Grant College System”. We were able to see the extension, education and research running simultaneously in a coordinated manner. Besides us, there were other farmer groups who were visiting the site as a training exposure and there were overwhelmed with the beauty and veracity of ARS itself. There we found the facility of seed processing unit that can process the seeds of both vegetables and cereal crops. Good irrigation facility, nutrient management system, soil conservation technologies, insect-pest management technologies were observed through the study. Overall, we could easily differentiate between the conventional and scientific methods of farming and the reasons of the farm yield gap after visiting the ARS Pakhribas.
2. Chotlung Park, (चो: लुंग पार्क) Basantapur, Tehrathum
After the ARS, We visited the Chotlung Park located at the eastern side of Basantapur Market, Tehrathum. This park found to be very beautiful to visit and can bring inner sense of peace within ourselves. The stone paved pathway, landscape design, green pond, high mountains scenery, chilling freeze and a beautiful traditionally designed house have made park to be like a part of heaven. The periphery was so clean and green that any one get hesitated to do any kind of pollution around it. Moreover, the existing traditional house was museum of ‘Limbu’ community where different kind of ethnic items were placed for visitors to see and learn. The entry fee inside the museum was Rs. 50 per person. Almost every structures of the parks made up of locally available materials like stones, mud, wood planks etc. The stones have been wisely erected to make the park astonishing in visitors view. The trees have been surrounded by stones in natural way without disturbing its regular growth that have made pathway to look very natural and realistic in nature. Overall, the park clearly helps to promote the Agro ecotourism sector that have potential to attract both domestic and international tourists.
3. Rainbow Trout Farm, Basantapur, Tehrathum
After park visit, we visited the rainbow trout farm located about 2-3 km away from Basantapur market area at the base of south facing “Tinjure Mountains’ full of Rhododendron forest. According to the local residents, this area is the kingdom of Rhododendron of Nepal. We can get 28 species of rhododendron out of 32 species found in Nepal blooming during spring season. People believe climate change have been affecting the flowering period of trees in past few years. The natural landscape with very high cliffs and mountains have been a major part of the beauty of this area. The area is so wide and open that we can see every detail in small dimensions and make view fabulous. The farm itself is in construction phase. The best part of trout farm is that there is permanent good source of cold water that gets collected as the watershed area from dense forest present along the hill face. Fish preys are given recommended feed in regular manner. Farm have also facilitated job opportunities for the local youths through this trout farm. Likewise, there is enough space to have meetings, parties, get together, and photo shoots with the facility to eat fresh-cooked rainbow trout fish. More facilities are being constructed continuously. This place also signifies upcoming potential site for the agro ecotourism sector.
The mentioned places still haven’t been adequately promoted at domestic and international level. Proper provision and strategy for promotion and development of these areas if practiced, Nepal can earn a lot of name and fame whole over the world. There are many more important places like Tinjure Hills full of rhododendron flowers with different colours , parks, mountains and other natural resources which have not been mentioned in this blog. We will try to cover missing places in next episode of blogs.