Nepal’s former minister is now rearing pigs

Former Minister Joshi at his piggery at Khajuraha in western Terai of Nepal (Photo: Govinda Sharma)

Kathmandu – Former Minister Shiva Raj Joshi who spent almost 15 years at the Singh Durbar, the central secretariat of the Nepal government, as a parliamentarian and a minister, is now spending his day at a piggery in a village of south-west Nepal.

Accustomed to putting signatures on the piles of files at the ministries, Joshi is now taking care of piglets in his pig farm set up a year ago, according to news item published in a Kathmandu-based English daily on April 22.

Joshi, a Brahmin by birth, is now running a commercial piggery in collaboration with his colleagues; one of them comes from so called Dalit community. Traditionally, Brahmins are not allowed to touch the pig.

A permanent resident of Gutu-8 in Surkhet, Joshi was elected to the House of Representatives from constituency-3 of Surkhet district in all three general elections held after the political change of 1990 on the ticket of the Nepali Congress, the largest democratic party of Nepal.

Former central member of NC and its current Mahasamiti member, Joshi served as assistant minister at the Ministry of Transport in 1991, as minister for state at the Population and Environment Ministry in 1998 and as minister for state at the Information and Communications Ministry in 2000.

Joshi said that he started rearing pigs a year ago by setting up the pig firm with an investment of Rs. 1 million.

“Now there are 48 pigs in this firm and we have set up to produce and sell piglets,” he said.

According to him, the firm has already started selling piglets as well as grown up pigs. As he had engaged in farm works from his childhood, he said he had found the present venture easy and comfortable.

“As I was a farmer by birth, I have not faced any problem to operate this firm,” Joshi was quoted. “I have been taking care of these pigs in the morning and evening as I am busy in the party activities in the day time.”

Admitting that his present role was different from that of a minister and lawmaker, Joshi said that one could give time to politics and business equally.

He suggested that all leaders and cadres should engage in small business instead of becoming a whole-timer party activist.

Stating that it was sad that most of the politicians are dragged to finance-related controversies, he said that such anomalies could be corrected if the politicians engaged in small venture by utilizing their free time.

The firm has a capacity of rearing 50 pigs at present. Joshi and his business partners are planning to increase the capacity to rear at least 150 pigs.

According to Joshi, there is a short supply of pigs in Nepal’s markets. However, Joshi regretted that he was unable to pursue agriculture education during his student life.

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