Sudama, 50, lives with her husband and three children in Belha village, India. A few years ago, the family sank into poverty when they borrowed money for their daughter’s marriage. Moreover, water shortages in their village significantly reduced the harvests from their family farm, forcing the family to also work as laborers to survive.
Heifer International’s partner, Ghoghardiha Prakhand Swarajya Vikas Sangh (GPSVS), formed Farmer Clubs in Sudama’s village. Sudama and her husband joined and learned improved agricultural techniques like the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and the System of Wheat Intensification (SWI). These skills helped improve their farming, but it was not enough to fully support their family.
In April 2011, Sudama joined a Heifer self-help group and attended all the mandatory trainings. She received a cow that is now producing about two gallons of milk per day. Sudama sells the milk at the dairy cooperative (linked with Sudha dairy) where she also serves as its secretary.
Sudama also started a small shop that sells compost to farmers, and became a Community AgroVet Entrepreneur (CAVE). Now, she provides basic veterinary care within her community, earning between 30 to 50 Indian rupees (about 50 to 83 cents) per day.
Sudama’s household income has increased to about 7,000 Indian rupees (about $117) per month. She repaid the loan for her daughter’s marriage, and is now supporting her children’s education and saving for the future.
This project (supported by Elanco Animal Health and its employees) has enabled vulnerable rural farm families to enhance their livelihoods and food security through integrated agriculture production, promotion of health and enterprise development in Masaiti, Kalulushi, Mpongwe and Luanshya districts. The project continues to improve participants’ skills and knowledge in integrated agriculture, nutrition, hygieneand sanitation practices. Local institutions have also adopted these practices through the support of community leaders.
To date, 9,203 families (2,993 more than planned) have been supported with draft and dairy cattle, meat goats, vegetable packs, agroforestry seeds and other interventions. During two Passing on the Gift® (POG) ceremonies, 47 new families received a total of 12 draft cattle, 21 dairy cattle and 140 goats. Chickens, eggs, milk and fish provided families with a variety of animal protein, and families also had access to fresh vegetables.
Furthermore, families are engaged in marketing livestock, livestock products and horticultural produce—especially milk, maize and fresh vegetables. Farmers are now selling 110 pound bags of maize directly to the private sector for about $15, which is approximately $2 more than they received from milling companies or the government through the Food ReserveAgency. Monthly incomes also improved from livestock and milk sales, allowing 65 families to buy bicycles to transport milk and iron roofing sheets for their homes.
In addition, a total of 790 men and 1,017 women participated in trainings including: Manure Use, Bee Keeping, Human Nutrition, Entrepreneurship, Conservation Farming, Livestock Management, Enterprise Development, Gender Equity and Leadership, Water and Sanitation Practices, Milking Techniques and Hygiene, Group Dynamics and Management, and Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs).
Elanco has, just this month, completed funding of this project. Thanks to Elanco, all its employees and everyone who gave to the project on GlobalGiving.org. Please consider giving to Heifer's other projects on GlobalGiving.org...just search for Heifer. Or visit www.heifer.org for more information about Heifer International and our partners.
During this reporting period, the project families have made significant income from buffaloes keeping, selling milk and milk products; and tailoring. Increased group leadership has come up with increased and effective coordination and collaboration with different stakeholders regarding to the developmental activities. Increased awareness about the sanitation, health and hygiene has supported to undertake sanitation campaigns, keep the surroundings neat and clean. After receiving different slots of the trainings, communities members have maintained social harmony being united and supporting each other. Similarly, project families have cultivated vegetables by using organic manures and have been consuming fresh vegetables daily. It has supported them to be healthy. Besides, they have applied improved animal management technology. Discrimination based on caste, race, gender and religion has remarkably reduced. Communities members appreciate each others feelings, thoughts and ideas and share for betterment of themselves. Seeing the change in project families and the whole communities, 23 other families (outsiders) have recently improved their cattle sheds.