Madhubani, India Project - supported by Elanco

$14,168 $422,620
Raised Remaining

Since August 2012, we have partnered with Ghoghardiha Prakhand Swarajya Vikas Sangh (GPSVS), with support from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) and Elanco Animal Health, to assist families in 16 villages of the Andhra Tharhi Block in the Madhubani District of India. We are reaching 500 original families with resources including goats, cattle, vegetable seeds, fodder saplings and veterinary medicine kits. Another 1,500 families will be assisted through our practice of Passing on the Gift® (POG).  Promoting Socio-Economic Transformation of Marginalized Communities through Agriculture and Livestock Management in Madhubani project will complete its 3-yr implementation phase in August 2015 and enter its reporting phase.  Along with SDTT, Elanco and its employees and all who gave through GlobalGiving have fully-funded this project.

Together with our partners we are moving these marginalized communities toward sustainable development by transforming families’ capacities in agriculture and livestock management. Furthermore, women are being empowered to improve their communities’ social, economic and political conditions through our trainings in gender justice, the 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development, and selfhelp group formation, management and strengthening.

During this reporting period, Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR) training was provided for the 500 original families. Disaster preparedness is critical for our communities around the world that are prone to events including typhoons, floods, landslides, tsunamis, and in some areas, volcanos. CMDRR aids communities in developing Early Warning Systems (EWS) and family and communitybased contingency plans for: 1) securing family assets (i.e. income, livestock, clothing, important documents); 2) preparing food, water, medicine and first aid kits; and 3) safely evacuating their families.

Heifer India directly assisted 172 original families during this period with 480 goats, 12 cows and approximately 1,100 pounds of fodder seeds/saplings. Training also was provided for 2,113 women on topics including human nutrition, CMDRR, improved animal management, selfhelp group formation, management and strengthening, kitchen gardening, HIV/AIDS and gender justice.

A total of 30 original womenled selfhelp groups have been established with 500 members. These groups increased their savings from about $1,600 in December 2013 to about $1,635 this period. Additionally, 1,000 POG families that have been formed into 60 groups have saved a total of approximately $2,220.

Reporting on two objectives of the project:

Objective 1: By the end of the project 100 percent of project families will have incomes above $1.25 per day.

When the project began in 2013, its baseline survey revealed that 8 percent of project families were earning per capita income above $1.25 per day. Heifer India is currently using our Global Impact Monitoring System to capture new data and report on the families’ progress during the next period.

Farmers who have adopted System of Rice Intensification/System of Wheat Intensification (SRI/SWI) technologies reported an increase of about $82 per month from the sale of crops. Additionally, 53 farmers increased their income through Khesari production, earning a total of about $30,860 from the cultivation of almost 350,000 pounds of the legume. Similarly, 96 families with kitchen gardens cumulatively earning about $2,460 from cultivating a total of about 221,272 pounds of vegetables. Kitchen gardens also have the potential to save families about $33 per month on the cost of vegetables. Training on gardens this period increased the monthly income of 300 original families by about $50.

Dairy cooperative members are also benefiting from selling milk to collection centers. The Rampur Milk Cooperative consists of 60 families that produced about 6,823 gallons of milk this period, earning cooperative members a total of about $11,320. The Belha Milk Cooperative consists of 30 families that produced about 2,861 gallons of milk this period, earning cooperative members a total of about $4,748.

Moreover, families are also investing in livestock such as water bualo and goats. This period, a total of 55 goats were sold by 44 families for a total of about $1,534.

Objective 2: By the end of the project, communities will have increased solidarity and harmony, and communities are empowered to access other development programs.

In addition to the progress Heifer India has made toward women’s empowerment, our trainings on the 12 Cornerstones and in gender justice are also contributing to fulfilling this objective. A total of 250 original families participated in trainings on the 12 Cornerstones during this reporting period. As a result, families are reporting a significant improvement in both personal and social behavior.

Furthermore, women reported the trainings are enabling them to manage savings and contribute to their selfhelp groups. Trainings are also helping participants manage milk production and establish market linkages for improved income.

In this reporting period, we focused on building families’ capacities and improving the conditions at the family, social and political levels. Project families reported a decrease in domestic violence as more participants—and other families in surrounding villages—began adopting the values they learned through our trainings on gender justice and the 12 Cornerstones. A total of 550 people (200 women and 250 men) participated in gender training, and 250 families received training on selfhelp group management.

Self-help groups provide an outlet for women to manage savings and loans, and gain the skills needed to serve as leaders in their communities. Women participants reported an increase in their contributions to family decision-making, and also to community development planning, management and monitoring. Furthermore, project participants reported that both boys and girls are receiving the same opportunities for growth in the home and at school.

We held a two-day Animal Health Camp for 550 participants who learned to deworm and vaccinate livestock. Moreover, three selfhelp groups established a Farmer Field School (FFS) where families can share their experiences in agriculture. Similarly, the target community of Maini village began farming collectively. Activities like these allow participants to Pass on the Gift of knowledge and build social capital.

Trainings were also provided for 300 POG families on establishing and managing kitchen gardens, and learning the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and the System of Wheat Intensification (SWI) technologies. SRI/SWI methods improve rice and wheat production by increasing the use of compost and widely spacing plants to allow for improved root and shoot growth. This is an advantage for farmers during the monsoon season when excessive rains could damage crops.

Furthermore, two milk collection centers were established in the 1st Rampur and 2nd Belha villages. Together the two villages collected about 7,110 gallons of milk, earning producer cooperatives about $16,166 during this reporting period.

Sudama feeding dairy cows
Sudama feeding dairy cows

Transformation Story

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.

Mother and Daughter
Mother and Daughter

During this reporting period, 117 original families received 117 cows, 211 original families received 633 goats and 500 original families received 9,400 kg (about 20,723 pounds) of potato seeds. Two milk cooperatives (linked with Mithila Milk Union Ltd/Sudha Dairy) were established and also involved the 117 families who received cows. Currently, between 140
to 150 liters/milk/day (about 37 to 40 gallons) is being collected by the cooperative.

Women participants have been empowered to make decisions at the household and village levels after joining Heifer selfhelp groups and receiving training such as gender equity. They have advanced the economic development of their families and also the nutritional value of their children’s diets. As a result, domestic violence and malnutrition have also decreased in the target communities.

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Heifer International

Little Rock, AR, United States

Project Leader

Marc Bunn

Little Rock, AR Arkansas United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Madhubani, India Project - supported by Elanco