Berks

Berks woman back after 2-month study in Nepal

VIDEO: Rockland Township woman back...

ROCKLAND TWP., Pa. - A woman from Rockland Township is back in Berks County after taking part in a project halfway around the world.

Kaitlyn Spangler is a graduate student at Virginia Tech pursuing a master's degree in geography. She spent two months working with farmers Nepal as part of a graduate research project.

"As soon as you get there, everything changes, so I spent about a year preparing this research project, and then I would say about 50 percent of it just kind of went out the window as soon as I got to the field site," Spangler told 69 News.

The focus of the project was to help farmers increase their crop yield and decrease the use of chemical pesticides in place of bio-pesticides.

"Most of the farmers in Nepal grow rice and most of them grow it for home consumption, but this project works to increase vegetable production," Spangler explained.

She added vegetable have more commercial value and farmers were able to sell their excess growth for profit.

Spangler said at the center of the project's success was the ability to listen to farmers. She conducted hour-long interviews with about 60 farmers. Spangler said listening is what really leads to change.

"I think the vibrancy of people's lives can easily surprise you if you start listening," she said.


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