Gindo Doubles Her Income by Adopting Better Agricultural Practices
Gindo is fifty years old and lives with her husband, three sons and daughter in law in the village of Maulya in Alwar district. Her husband and elder son work as construction laborers, and Gindo takes care of their farm and home along with her daughter-in-law. Rural women are often burdened with work and have little say in decision making. Gindo, however, is a portrait of determination and will in everything that she takes on.
Adoption of modern agricultural practices
“Around 5-6 years back, we were struggling to give our children a dignified life. The economic condition of our family was not good and unexpected expenses kept draining us time and again,” revealed Gindo.
But today, things have changed for the better. The Sehgal Foundation launched the Krishi Chetna (enlightened agriculture) project in Gindo’s village. The program teaches female farmers modern agricultural methods. Gindo was able to benefit from this program.
“A year-and-a-half ago, people from the Foundation came to our village and taught us about soil fertility, use of fertilizers, and seed quality. They also gave us fertilizers for one acre of land to demonstrate the effects of new agricultural practices,” Gindo said as she observed her ripe millet crops.
The Krishi Chetna project teaches Krishi Sakhis (farmer’s friends) new agricultural methods in depth. Village farmers then turn to their Krishi Sakhi for training. Gindo is in regular contact with her Krishi Sakhi for new practices. Krishi Sakhis are also kept up to date on government schemes that can help farmers in their community.
The Krishi Chetna project has helped Gindo increase her crop yields by 50 per cent. This has greatly increased Gindo’s household income. “With added income, we don’t have to struggle for basic necessities,” she said.
Today, Gindo uses modern practices in large sections of her farm. She told us that women that were reluctant to adopt new practices are beginning to take part after seeing the results. The project data show a 30-40% increase in the yield of millet and 25-35% increase in yield of mustard across the region. As crop yields increase, households experience an increase in household income.
Power of Collectivism
Gindo’s transformation from a voiceless rural woman to an aware female farmer was not easy. She had to fight cultural conservatism. It was difficult for Gindo’s family to permit her to cross the social limitations set forth for women in Maulya. With the help of Ibtada, a local NGO working in the area, Gindo has formed self-help groups (SHGs). These groups help her to cope with additional family expenses.
Despite being born and brought up in a traditional Indian village, Gindo has learned to fight and demand for her rights. Today, she continues to use modern agricultural practices on her three-acre farm for good yields.
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