Inspiring Stories-in-brief

Women Collectives Reap Rewards of Cooperation

ONE OF THE best examples of the benefits that can be reaped through group efforts can be seen from the village of Krushnagar of Kalyansinghpur of Rayagada district. This case highlights the efficacy of adopting a practice that improved the livelihood of the farmers in an area where they used to live abject poverty and were forced to migrate for paltry wages. Due to the absence of any support governmental or non-governmental — the villagers had to face lot of hardships to earn their daily bread.During 2019-20, under the APC program, this village saw the Chili cultivation across 10 acres of wasteland. The area was tended by the landless women farmers who decided to cultivate vegetables to earn their livelihood. This can be said to have been the first phase of change, or maybe it was a sign of things to come. Then in May-2019 all HHs (28) of Krushnagar village came together to form a Producer Group, Maa Salori Producer Group, aimed at achieving self-sustainability and procuring money for quality seeds

They followed the rules and regulation of a PG, which involve monthly savings, monthly meetings, record keeping, etc. The capital acquired through it was used for the cultivation of vegetables. The women also took out Rs. 47,000 from their savings for Solar River lift that would help in irrigating and catering to 10 acres of land.It was around the same time when the Harsha Trust started the PG formation process in Kalyansinghpur Block of the Rayagada district in order to fulfil its objectives. Thus, Krushnanagar village came within its periphery, including the Salori PG. and, it was linked to the Odisha Livelihood Mission. This enabled it to adopt the best practices for vegetable cultivation and manure management through various training programmes 

Harsha Trust brought women farmers of the village together to grow chilli collectively in 10 acres of wasteland. Time to time training on chilli PoP helped them to manage and nurture the plants properly, which enabled good growth and fruition. They collectively harvested the crop and collectively sold the produce in the market

Each member of this PG is now able to effectively earn Rs. 10,000-15,000 per month after adopting the group activity process, as opposed to their earlier earnings of Rs. 4,000-5,000 per crop from one-acre land. Besides, looking at the industriousness of the PG farmers, Department of Horticulture, provided 1600 Cashew Plants to be planted in 8 hectors as well as 60kg of bio-pesticide. The initiative provides the members with adequate knowledge and skill on the best practices of vegetable cultivation, access to market.

The efforts of these women to come under a group and avail the opportunities to enhance land productivity has successfully empowered them. This is one of the best examples of the benefits that can accrue through group efforts, and which promotes their livelihood by bringing in an enhanced production, while simultaneously increasing the members’ bargaining power