Suguna, village head and president of Appaipally Women Farmers Club (WFC) assisted in the formation of the WFC at her village and is disseminating information she gained from WFC to other women of her community.
Suguna is sarpanch (political head of the village) of Appaipally Panchayat, Doulathabad Mandal, Siddipet District, Telangana; and is also president of Appaipally WFC, which has thirty members. In May 2020 the S M Sehgal Foundation team that was implementing a development project of Hytech Seed India Pvt. Ltd. approached her to discuss the formation of the WFC. Suguna realized that this initiative was in the interest of the community, and therefore she mobilized women to come forward and become members of WFC. Further, her engagement with WFC increased her confidence, and she began voicing her views. As Suguna says, “Earlier I was hesitant to speak in public. After attending the trainings of Sehgal Foundation, I have gained a lot of confidence and now freely interact with people. I learned about good agricultural practices required to enhance crop productivity. Now I am influencing other women to attend similar training and exposure visits. We have visited the Center for Excellence, Ankapur village, Nizamabad district, and gained practical knowledge of crop improvement, benefits of multi‑cropping, reduction in excessive use of chemical fertilizers, use of organic fertilizers, and benefits of drip and sprinkler irrigation.
She now saves about INR 3500, which she used to spend in buying organic fertilizer. At present, she is growing double beans and coriander in half‑acre of her land, where she applies her newfound knowledge.
Authors: Salahuddin Saiphy and Ellora Mubashir
(Salahuddin is principal lead, Water Management and Ellora is communications specialist, Partnerships, S M Sehgal Foundation)