Empower Women Farmers in India

by Seva Mandir
Empower Women Farmers in India

Hailing from Kag-Mandara village, Doogli and her husband barely manage to sustain their family of 8 with their meagre income from agriculture and daily-wage labor work. They have very small land holdings, and were only cultivating seasonal crops of wheat and corn; just sufficient for their consumption. Therefore, they got no additional income through selling their harvest.

Last year, Doogli became associated with Seva Mandir through our agriculture program. Through our agriculture program, she received multiple trainings on short crops cultivation, use of organic manure and water efficient cultivation technologies. She attended these trainings and subsequently cultivated coriander in 500 sq meters of her farm. She was provided with 2kgs of coriander seeds through project and irrigated the land through channel water supply.

It is noteworthy that she applied only natural farm-yard manure and did not use any fertilizers or pesticides. In May-June she reaped a harvest of approximately 310 kgs of coriander which she sold in the nearby market. She earned around Rs. 10,000 ($132) from selling this harvest. It is very important that she continues to cultivates this crop in the mere 500 square meters of her farm.

Doogli is very happy with her income and plans to invest it back in her farm. She proudly says

I never earned that much by selling the harvest of my entire farm, this is incredible. I am very thankful to Seva Mandir.”

This is just one example of the impact of Seva Mandir’s program for women farmers. A big thank you also goes to you, our supporters. With your help, we have been successfully running this program.

We are excited to share with you that we are participating in GlobalGiving’s Little by Little Campaign, which will run from 04th to 08th April 2022. It is a five-day crowdfunding campaign. All eligible donations of up to $50 will be matched at 50% during the campaign.

We need your support once again to help us get matching funds, which will then help us reach out to more women farmers in need.  For only $50, you can help train 1 rural woman on advanced farming techniques of vegetable and floriculture cultivation.

Your donation will build brighter futures for these women farmers. Thank you once again.

Regards

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir team

 

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Paru
Paru

Paru, a middle-aged woman; resides in Paba village in south Rajasthan. She, along with her husband and the family of 6 are solely dependent on traditional farming for leading their lives. Earlier, they were cultivating some seasonal vegetables and crops but were not able to make any income since it would get consumed in the family. In 2019, Paru got associated with Seva Mandir’s Women Empowerment program and cultivated marigold flowers. She earned Rs. 25,000 ($330) in the very first year of her involvement.

During the pandemic in 2020, this money that she made proved to be a vital source to run her household. Last year, she had again taken up floriculture and had sold flowers worth Rs. 16,000 ($210) till October. Now that she has learned the art of floriculture by undergoing rigorous capacity building trainings under the programme, she can sustain this earning in the coming years and can look forward to a better future for her children.

“Being traditional farmers for ages, I have never ever earned this much! I have now started dreaming of my children being educated by these earnings and lead a better life.” she said.  

We are so very thankful to you for supporting our programme. World is changing every day for good because of the people like you. We hope that you will continue your support to our programme.

Thank you and Take care.

Best Wishes,

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team

Paru selling garlands and flowers
Paru selling garlands and flowers

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Dear Friend,

80% of the people in our region live in remote rural areas far from (formal) markets, and depend mostly on subsistence agriculture, livestock rearing, forest produce and wage labour for their livelihood. 84% of the farmers are small, marginal farmers with two hectares of land or less, of which only half is fit for cultivation. Agriculture in the region is mostly rain-fed with only 23% of the cultivated area under irrigation. So most farmers are able to farm in only one season, during the monsoon period. Women constitute 72% of the agricultural workforce. 56% of households have at least one member, usually the male household head, migrating for casual labouring work away from their village to meet their household consumption and income needs. A concern for farmers in the region is also access to markets to purchase supplies for farming and animal rearing, and to sell their produce from agriculture, livestock and forests. Most markets are 10-40 km away from the villages, so transport costs are an additional burden. Without access to established markets, most farmers have no alternative but to sell their goods in their village at prices 20-50% lower than the market rate. This results in very low profits.

Seva Mandir addresses the challenges in two main ways:-

1. Improving agriculture and livestock

Seva Mandir works with farmers to enable them to utilise their farmland in the most efficient manner with the best possible agriculture practices. To utilise existing farmland to its optimal capacity, following watershed or ridge-to-valley treatment, soil and water conservation activities are undertaken to ensure the fertility of soil and enhance moisture. Irrigation facilities are also provided through water recharge, and water pumping and distribution systems, to ensure a constant supply of water for crops.

Seva Mandir provides a community-based agri-extension service through trained agriculture workers, who act as facilitators to encourage farmers to adopt the best agricultural practices.

Through various interventions Seva Mandir benefited 80,000 farmers, and improved agricultural productivity by 40-60% and livestock productivity by 30-50%.

2. Income enhancement

Seva Mandir works with farmers to increase their income by identifying critical areas in the farmers’ value chain and providing solutions. Seva Mandir uses its community-based agri-extension service model, through trained agriculture workers and agriculture experts, to support these farmers at every stage of the production cycle to ensure best results.

Through this intervention, Seva Mandir increased the annual agricultural income of around 4,500 families by INR 15,000-40,000 (USD 215-600), a 40-120% increase. Seva Mandir also helped 220 women's Self-Help Groups to undertake entrepreneurial activities, and linked 20 community groups and federations in over 40 villages to provide access to fair markets. 

Many thanks to you for all your help and support to our project. It is because of your support we have been able to help increase profits of these farmers. 

Regards

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir team 

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

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Dear Friend,

We sincerely hope that you, your family, and your colleagues are in good health and safe.

The second wave across India has hit harder than the first one. The worst-affected are always the underprivileged and vulnerable communities. For them prevention is very important, as treatment is a bigger challenge.     

During this medical emergency, Seva Mandir team continues to work and support rural communities. We are working closely with health experts and organisations to understand needs and have taken up the response work ahead in the villages where Covid cases are surging at an unstoppable pace. Multitude of problems are witnessed causing spread of the virus such as rural patients struggling with home isolation, finding treatment close to home, arranging for food and basic amenities, misinformation and so on. An immediate and pressing need is to provide access to reliable information, counter dangerous myths regarding the disease, vaccination and treatment, and provide survival support to the vulnerable families in the rural and tribal parts of Udaipur and Rajsamand.

Seva Mandir is well placed to deliver this through its wide network of volunteers and community institutions. It is responding to the situation by undertaking the Covid Relief Work. The organisation is taking up different interventions, below are the interventions planned at present towards relief efforts:

  1. Community Awareness & Education
  2. Support to COVID affected patients and families
  3. Support to vulnerable families in villages
  4. Ensuring Safety & Welfare of Frontline Workers
  5. COVID Care Centres

We, hence, seek your continuous support to help the rural communities withstand the impacts of the pandemic. We trust that you will continuously support us.

We also believe that the world will soon come out with this situation. Take care.

Thanks & Regards

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir Team 

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Dear Friend,

84% of the farmers in rural parts of our work area are small and marginal farmers earning only about INR 13,000 (USD 185) annually from agriculture. The outputs from agriculture and livestock are usually less than the state and national averages. As a result, after their family’s consumption, farmers are left with little or no surplus for sale to enhance their income.

A recent survey states that 30-50% of all agriculture-dependent rural households in this region are facing indebtedness. Even after a good harvest, it is a challenge for a farmer to earn any meaningful income without connectivity to markets. Not only do most farmers live far from markets, but they also have little understanding of how they work. Furthermore, they sell their produce as individuals and not as a group, which would help to achieve economies of scale.

Seva Mandir works with farmers to increase their income by identifying critical areas in the farmers’ value chain and providing solutions. Seva Mandir uses its community-based agri-extension service model, through trained agriculture workers called ‘Krishi-karyakartas’ and agriculture experts, to support these farmers at every stage of the production cycle to ensure best results.

Through our network of women’s Self-Help Groups (SHGs), we help women farmers to start agricultural and livestock-based livelihood activities at an entrepreneurial level. SHG members can take out loans from their group to invest in their farms and livestock. They are given training and other technical assistance to implement the business plan with the help of experts from farmer-producer organisations or social enterprises, trained agriculture workers and local agri-entrepreneurs. These groups are evaluated from time to time to measure their progress in building entrepreneurship.

Seva Mandir works in tandem with the community groups and federations that we have helped set up to enable them to aggregate farm produce in order to achieve economies of scale, enabling farmers to receive a fair price at current wholesale prices and to benefit from these organisations’ expertise in rural agri-business developments in the region.

Through this intervention, Seva Mandir aims to increase the prosperity of the rural farming community by enhancing their entrepreneurial capabilities through links to training and credit and by giving them access to fair markets, without the need to travel long distances.

Many thanks to you for all your help and support to our project. It is because of your support we have been able to help increase profits of these farmers. 

Regards

Atul Lekhra & the Seva Mandir team 

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

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Organization Information

Seva Mandir

Location: Udaipur, Rajasthan - India
Website:
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Twitter: @sevamandir
Project Leader:
Ronak Shah
Udaipur, Rajasthan India
$38,631 raised of $90,000 goal
 
673 donations
$51,369 to go
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