In the drought prone area of Latur district, Raut family resident of Nagarsoga village of latur district of maharastra state of india block could barely manage to survive with very little income coming from two acres of land. The family decided to go to Mumbai hoping to get some means of survival but returned because of labor crisis to the village and had no option to start with farming again.
Hardship: With very little water they could obtain from the common well shared amongst three brothers it was difficult to get enough crop production. Sambhaji’s wife Malan who was from Mumbai had no experience of working in the fields so she kept on trying other works as well like running a beauty parlor and making household items etc. Still for a family with two daughters and a son this was not enough in for basic needs of the family like education, clothing and to live optimum life. Malan soon realized that they will have to upgrade their agricultural practices in order to make it work for them.
Taking Initiative Malan came to know about Swayam Shikshan Prayog
They tried with planting sugarcane in half an acre this time which was sold at good price. They could repay the loan they took for borewell. They built a farmhouse and started living in the field and decided to try with different crops this time. In the meantime Malan got an opportunity to go for the training on Micro enterprises .After this there was no looking back for Malan. Along with her husband’s support she started implementing different crop combinations and techniques which she has learned in her field. With half an acre for sugarcane and wisely choosing different crops for rest of the field she balanced 18 guntas of her land.Fruit crops in around 18 Guntas: This include 120 sandalwood trees, 90 custard apple, 15 different varieties of mangoes, 30 teakwood, 2 papaya, 4 guava, 2 oranges, 2 lemon tree,10 sweetlemon, miliadubia in between the custardapple, along with trees of tamarind, jamun, amla, figs, pomoganate, coconut, bamboo and drumsticks on the boundaries of the field Crop production: To achieve food security for the family, different food crops like pulses and grains were taken in small portion Food security: Half an acre was dedicated for growing different vegetables like spinach, onion, garlic, fenugreek etc. which proved to be cash crops throughout the year. Livestock for financial growth Dairy, poultry and goat farming supported organic farming needs since the excreta of the animals is excellent manure and selling for meat also gained added income.
The different variety of trees in the field satisfied the need for food and shelter of these animals. For e.g. In the shade of big mango trees animal sheds can be built.
Malan used to sell her vegetables and other animal products like eggs etc. directly in the weekly market instead of selling to the mediator businessmen which increased her profit margin.
She learnt the techniques to make all the organic pesticides and fertilizers required for her field which saved a lot of her expenses.
Emerging leader and a mentor: She procured quality seeds from Atma Yojana of Agriculture Department Malan started saving upto Rs 2000 in Women Farmers Group.
Malan along with few more women is now working as leaders of different groups and guides other women in the village. Out of these Mahadevi Mahila Bachat Gat has won Hirkani Award along with a price of Rs 50,000. Such achievements really boosts the morale of these women and motivates them.
- Malan has achieved a lot through her progressive approach in agriculture
- The family earned food security, savings and better expenditure on education of their children after satisfying farming expenses and repaying debts.
- Better nutrition for family through organic foodstuff
- Spent Rs. 2.30 lakhs for constructing bore well for availability of more water
- Planning for better housing for the family
- There was a time when the family was uncertain about getting even the basic meals of the day,now Malan not only guides other women in developing there farming and other agro businesses but also has earned respect and trust for herself
With only 2 acres (18 gunta) of land at hand by picking the right mix of fruits, vegetable and grains crops, Malan established a successful model of agriculture.