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Rural mechanics training held in Bhairahawa
 

The week ending on 20 April, 2007 saw the closure of a 10 day long rural mechanics training held in Bhairahawa. This is part of our annual series of training rural based "pump set" mechanics in the maintenance and repair of Chinese two-wheel tractors and their implements. This year we had 6 mechanics from Rupandehi and surrounding area. Trained and experienced mechanics (along with assured spare parts supplies) are a prerequisite for the adoption of any new agricultural/rural machinery.

In earlier times during our promotion and demonstrations of agro-machinery in the villages we attempted to train young men we found there who were mechanically inclined. As we had to start with the very basics of repair we soon found that this type of short duration/two week training was not enough but that more intensive, longer time scale trainings were beyond our financial abilities (though we do have dreams of starting an technical/trade school). We then discovered that due to adoption of Indian diesel pumpsets in Nepal, there was a growing cadre of rural based pump set mechanics servicing and repairing these pumpsets. Our first training in 2003 of pump set found that the two-weeks allotted to the training was actually too long and that we could accomplish the training in 10 days or less.

This has also allowed us to create an informal network of traveling mechanics that we can call on when farmers come to us for help in repair of their equipments as well as getting them the required spare parts quickly for the repairs. We also found that this up-gradation of skills of the pump set mechanics has increased the demand for their repair services and therefore their incomes. To the point several, who used to travel by foot/public transport or bicycle have purchased second hand motorcycles and mobile phones that greatly increases access to their services.