"They say you can't make a living from farming, but I say doing anything else isn't really living." This is what Mohan believes. Born and brought up in extreme poverty, Mohan is a proud farmer trainee and father of 3, who has never received any formal education. Since childhood, all he knew was that he was a poor farmer - but he had an aim - he would not die poor; He would fight his own war. He would win his war.
He continued working hard and waited for the right opportunity. His dream took flight when Seva Mandir’s agricultural trainings started in his village. These trainings taught good agricultural practices to marginal farmers. Mohan started the training with full dedication and determination. He implemented these farming techniques with coriander cultivation and 4kgs of quality seeds that were provided by Seva Mandir to the village.
2 months after sowing the seeds, Mohan made around 15 trips to the market to sell the produce and made Rs 63,000 ($781). The monetary costs he incurred in the process were the cost of transportation and labor for cutting the coriander leaves.
This coriander cultivation encouraged Mohan, and he added cauliflower into his next crop cultivation. The cauliflower was also profitable and he made Rs 28,000 ($347) from a single harvest.
Today Mohan is successful and selling his crops at a very good profit margin. He even became the role model for other members of his community.
A big thank you goes to you, our supporters. You are an integral part of this journey in providing sustainable livelihoods to underprivileged people and we are proud to be associated with you. Thank you for all your faith and continuous support to our programme. With only as little as $10 from you, 1 farmer family, like Mohan’s, will be able to set up a vegetable garden. Please consider donating once or monthly through: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/support-india-food-security/
Seva Mandir works in a region which is highly vulnerable to climate change. A World Bank Group report in 2018, on South Asia’s Hotspots, classified the region as a moderate hotspot zone. Evidence from various climate science studies points to the negative effects which a rise in average temperature has on people’s living standards, and shows that inland areas like southern Rajasthan are particularly severely affected.
Our work area is located in the Aravalli hills. This hilly region receives an average annual rainfall of 630 mm which is not evenly distributed throughout the year, and it experiences drought every three to five years. This is a high water-stress zone with the supply of water from rainfall not meeting demands for agriculture, household consumption and other uses.
80% of people in the region we work in live in rural areas and depend mostly on subsistence agriculture and livestock rearing. 84% of the farmers are small and marginal farmers with two hectares of land or less, with only about half fit for cultivation. Most families cannot produce enough food grains from their farms to last them for the whole year. A report by the UN World Food Programme states that Udaipur district is the least food-secure area in Rajasthan. As a result, 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 food consumption and income needs.
The poor status of food and water security reinforces the vicious cycle of poverty in the region. Seva Mandir has been working for decades to tackle these challenges.
Mohan, 55 years old, is a farmer in Khamnor. He has a small land holding and is dependent on agriculture for sustaining his family of three. Before being associated with Seva Mandir project, he was practicing traditional farming with average quality seeds, resulting into average harvest and limited income.
Then, Mohan got linked with our project for vegetable cultivation. He undergone advanced technical trainings on agriculture along with high-quality seeds. He has planted radish, tomatoes, and chilly seeds in his nursery. The saplings grew are of very good quality and the transplantation was also successful.
The harvest has already started. Mohan and his family are consuming the harvest and has already earned INR 600 ($8) by selling the surplus in local market. His second harvest of tomatoes and onions is due soon and he is expected to earn around INR 10,000 ($135) from this crop.
Mohan happily shares that it is during the trainings, given by Seva Mandir, he learned about right timing and techniques of preparing nursery beds, which led to good quality harvest. He is excited and looking forward to his upcoming trainings.
Thank you so much for all your faith and continuous support to our programme. We are happy to share that we are participating in GlobalGiving’s July Bonus Day Campaign. Donations of $100 USD and up will be matched on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, starting at 9 a.m. ET. The higher the amount, the higher will be the match. So, this is the chance to take one small action and it will have more impact on the lives of many farmers. We hope that you will once again support our programme.
Noji, a 33 years old farmer lives with her three children in a tribal village in our working area. She has been cultivating seasonal crops as per the availability of water in nearby shared water resource. Noji came to know about Seva Mandir’s agriculture program and showed her willingness to participate. Under the project, she received training on best farming practices along with 25 kgs garlic seeds. She was convinced to use only farmyard manure in her field instead of pesticides as promoted in the project.
As a result, last year, she harvested 2.3 quintals of garlic. After putting aside supplies for home consumption and next year’s seed, she sold the rest and earned Rs. 10,350 ($139). She is happy that she learned advanced techniques of farming and the profit she is making now will take care of the education of her children along with many other basic needs.
"These are uncertain times. Farming has helped us manage our houses throughout the year. The support and knowledge we received from Seva Mandir is a big help." says Noji. This is just one of the stories of how your contribution is enabling Seva Mandir to support small farmers lead a dignified life. We hope that you continue to create opportunities for more small farmers to come out of the vicious circle of poverty.
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