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Meet YPARD Mentee: Smita Shrestha

With the aim of applying the knowledge and skills she gained during her Masters in Crop Biotechnology, Smita Shrestha returned to her home country, Nepal in 2011 and started working in government organizations related to her field.

Its during this period, that she gained experience in production of improved crops via marker assisted selection (molecular biology). She also learned the skills on conventional breeding techniques during her one year internship at a renowned institution in Nepal before starting her Masters. Along with this, she has been part of a seed conservation project for medicinal plants and PCR diagnosis of Citrus greening disease in Nepal.

Now, Smita is going a step further by proposing to combine both her academic and professional experience in production and promotion of vegetable seed such that a realistic picture of the market and supply chain can be shown to the growers. In line with this, she has partnered with three of her friends to open a vegetable seed company named Shrestha Seeds Pvt. Ltd and serving as  the Founder and Manager (Public Relations  and Quality Control) of the company.

Shrestha Seeds Pvt. Ltd company believes in the motto "Seeds for Nepal, Seeds from Nepal." They intend to connect the local farmers with market and give them their worth for their hard work.

Position: Founder and Research Director, Shrestha Seeds Pvt. Ltd

Education: Masters in Crop Biotechnology, The University of Nottingham (UK), Malaysia Campus, Malaysia

Country: Nepal

Despite being a group of enthusiastic researchers who have just started in the field of Agro-Business,and are good at doing research in a systematic way to meet their goal, the team has limited knowledge regarding management and other administrative and leadership skills required to run a successful business. In addition, due to limited funding and knowledge of the ways and areas to approach for funding for business like theirs, they are lagging behind on their starting year schedule.

“I believe that the online mentoring program for young women entrepreneurs is one of the best platform for promotion and empowerment of women who want to be self-dependent. Also, being mentored by experts who are already in the field of Agro-Business Promotion especially for Women and sharing their experience and experience of my fellow mentees will give me support, strength, confidence and knowledge to attain the vision that our company has envisioned for a sustainable Nepal in vegetable crop production” Smita says!