Women Farmers Club (WFC) in Medak district, Telangana, has thirty members. Since its formation in 2019, the group has actively participated in the various activities of the club. Members acknowledge the benefits of receiving training for crop improvements that have enhanced their crop productivity and the quality of the maize hybrid seed that was provided by Hytech Seed Pvt Ltd.
Rajni, a member of the WFC, said, “The quality of maize seeds from Hytech Seeds is excellent, and it is heavier too. This resulted in good-quality maize crop, with higher production due to which our income increased. She used the profits from the maize crop for her daughter’s marriage, and another WFC member was able to repay her crop loan.
Seeing the good result of maize production, WFC members in 2021 have sown other vegetable seeds for trial, such as beans, cabbage, tomato, green chilli, and ladies finger, in a quarter acre of land. WFC members were trained on integrated nutrient management (INM) and integrated pest management (IPM), paddy drum seeder, and pheromone traps for maize. As part of INM and IPM training, they learned the preparation of Jeevamritam, an organic pesticide solution using cow dung, cow urine, jaggery, Bengal gram flour, and salt. One member said that using the waste decomposer helped in “reduction in recurrence of disease in her crops.”
The members appreciated the exposure visit to ICRISAT where they learned good practices in agriculture. However, they mentioned that, though the project distributed tomato seeds, it was not profitable for them due to limited market movement caused by COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have crippled the country’s struggling rural economy, but it could not override the positive attitude of our farming heroes on the ground who continue to grow to feed the country’s population. Related read: https://www.smsfoundation.org/news/we-are-farmers-we-continue-our-work/
Authors: Salahuddin Saiphy and Ellora Mubashir
(Salahuddin is principal lead, Water Management and Ellora is communications specialist, Partnerships, S M Sehgal Foundation)