Sundar Sharma is first to start the nettle powder industry in Rukum (West) district. Sharma comes from Chaujahari municipality-13 in the district. The 28 years old youth would always wonder, if the nettle growing in the wild mountains could be processed and delivered for commercial purpose. So he joined hands with some local youths and registered the Himalaya Sishno Powder Udhyog. So the nettle industry came into existence in 2019 in the district. The other share members are Pushpa Chaudhery, Padam Narayan Shrestha and Tika Pandey. They started collecting the nettle leaves which were going waste in the forest and barren slopes. Now the local groups of peasants collect them and provide the industry for rupees 25 per kg. The groups themselves collect the raw leaves and load them into vehicles to reach them to the factory, which is located at Sherigaun in the district headquarter, Musikot Khalanga. Thus, now the green nettle leaves come from Syalapakha, Bhalakcha, Chuna, Chaukhabang and other villages in the district. In order to produce 1 kg powder, 9 kg raw nettle leaves are required. “It was going waste in the forest. We learned about the nutritional value of the herb along with the medicinal. And it is no doubt organic too. So it’s profit from the wild, to say,” he informed.
The powder packets are sold to different cities of in Dang, Butwal and capital Kathmandu now. It is sold for rupees 650 per kg as the retail price. The total investment of 26 lakh has been made so far. However, the industry is still halfway to earn the expected profit. The team is now in search of wholesale market, in order to do away with the task of finding small retailers. “This will make our job more easy and assist us in expanding the industry,” Sharma added. They want to rather focus in production, then marketing, he revealed.
Sharma has been involved student’s politics in the district since 2002. At present he is the party district member of Nepal Communist Party (NCP). Also he is the central member of the All Nepal National Independent Student’s Union.
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.) has a long history of usage and is currently receiving attention as a source of fiber and alternative medicine. It has a long history as plants foraged from the wild and eaten as a vegetable. Stinging nettle has a great medicinal value such as relieve of arthritis, rheumatism, muscular pain, etc. It is highly recommended for pregnant women and children because of it’s high nutritional value. Nettle powder contains high amount of protein (38%), crude fiber (9%), total ash (16.2%), calcium (0.17%), iron (0.23%), and relatively low in carbohydrate (37%).
The mother company has been also being involved in DPR making and consultancy works. They have also dug a fish pond in Ratamata of the Musikot municipality. Around two thousand small fingerlings of the
Common cargo were left into the pond. They were brought from Nepalgunj.
To conclude, one can relish the nettle powder soup along with the popular ‘Dhido’ along with other. It is not only organic, but also highly nutritional.