Provide Enough Food for Poor Farmers in India

by Seva Mandir
Vetted

Wishing you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Thank you for your support to our project ‘Provide Enough Food for Poor Farmers in India’.

With your support we began a new year and are excited about the hopes and surprises it will bring. YOUR support is bringing real changes in the lives of these farmers.

With your support last year we have reached to 4202 households through our agriculture programme in southern Rajasthan. We are able to make this progress only because of the support from YOU. 

We request you to sign up to a monthly donation by clicking on recurring donation of an amount that you want to give and help us to make sustainable progress in coming year.

We look forward to your continued support. Please do consider visiting Seva Mandir when possible. Once again, wish you a very Happy New Year to you and your family. 

Best wishes,

Atul Lekhra & Seva Mandir Team 

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

Links:

Nahar and his family cultivating coriander leaves
Nahar and his family cultivating coriander leaves

Nahar is a 65 years old farmer residing in Kelwada village of Kumbalgarh block. He has 3 children, a daughter who is married and two sons who have migrated to Mumbai city in search of employment. He is mainly dependent on agriculture cultivation practiced on 2 bigha of irrigated land and animal husbandry for his livelihood. He has always been interested in vegetable cultivation but due to lack of technical know-how his production has been limited.

Seva Mandir started giving agricultural trainings to farmers in Kelwada village, in the year 2015. Under this training, agricultural experts gives information and conducts field demonstration on package of good agricultural practices to the farmers. These practices includes methods for improving soil health, new sowing and vegetable cultivation methods, importance of using natural fertilizers & pesticides, role of cleaning and grading of crops in fetching a better market price etc. This effort aims to boost agricultural productivity with improved methods of cultivation.

Nahar developed keen interest in vegetable cultivation during these trainings. Further, in order to motivate him and other farmers alike, they were provided with 4 kgs of Coriander seeds by Seva Mandir in May 2016. Then he sowed the seed in his field using the new method, for which he initially leveled his field and made a soil bed of 4 inches in height. And, as per the guideline he sowed the seeds in rows (line) unlike broadcasting done in the traditional method. Accordingly, the new method increases the survival rate of the crops by 40%. In this case, not only leveling of field helps in checking run-off water, but also alleviating the land helps in checking soil erosion.

The coriander plants started producing new leaves within 1 month after sowing. It was harvested after every third day and was sold in the nearby market using local transportation. In a matter of 2 months, Nahar was able to make 15 trips to the market. He sold coriander at the rate of Rs 50-70/kg and earned around Rs 65,000. The only monetary cost he had to incur in the process was the cost of transportation, the labor for cutting coriander leaves was provided by his family members and he had hardly incurred any input costs. A single trip to the market cost him Rs. 200, and the net profit he could earned through this was Rs. 63,000. This endeavor is even more praiseworthy as no fertilizer or pesticide was used, thus making it a 100% organic production.

Elated and considerably encouraged by first time success of his coriander harvest and sale in market at such a good price, Nahar decided to cultivate cauliflower which he expected would fetch him Rs 50,000/- to 60,000/-. Accordingly, he developed a cauliflower nursery in the last week of May 2016, and transplanted the sapling to his field in early June 2016. Up till 15th August 2016, he could sell cauliflower of worth Rs 35,000. While the total cost of production and marketing which includes input cost and transportation came to Rs 7,000, his net profit was Rs. 28,000. Here, the production turned out to be less than expected, as 50% of the crop was damaged due to heavy rainfall in the months of July and August. Nonetheless, the whole experience has been rewarding for his family. In particular, the additional income generated from the sale of vegetables as compared to previous years. The usual farm practice has been of single crop production during Kharif season in this region and that too is for household consumption. In the first place, vegetables cultivation during Kharif is rare in this area; while it not only has the potential of generating additional income for farmers, but also helps arresting their migration to nearby cities in search for alternative employment.

Observing the thriving vegetable farm of Nahar, together with his new knowledge and skill of improved package of practices, other members in his community are eager to step into marketable vegetable cultivation. This success story is perhaps a major stepping stone in the field of agriculture for enterprising small scale farmers of Kumbhalgarh!

Nahar is today happy and thank Seva Mandir for all the knowledge and support.

We thank you for showing interest and for your continued support to our “Provide Enough Food for Poor Farmers in India” project.

Regards

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Training session with farmers
Training session with farmers
Cauliflower garden at Nahar
Cauliflower garden at Nahar's Farm

Links:

Narayan in his Bottle Gourd Farm
Narayan in his Bottle Gourd Farm

Narayan a farmer, 45 years of age and a resident of Cheekhla village. Not only, is he known for his industriousness, but also, for his keen interest in agriculture and horticulture development and an environmental champion in his community. Equally important, in a remote tribal village like Cheekhla, where the state of agriculture is still subsistence, innovative practices to make agriculture more lucrative remains farfetched for small and marginal farmer which constitute the farming population in the region. In this context, Narayan is an exception, all the more, he has become an example for others in the village to follow his lead. Since the year 2000 he has been in close association with Seva Mandir through its Natural Resource Development program. To point out, he has been a pioneer in developing 1000 nursery plants in his village, owing to which these sapling were later used for restoring common lands at other villages.

Furthermore, with the introduction of Package of Best Practices in Vegetable Farming by Seva Mandir to help farmers gain nutrition, food security and livelihood opportunity. He is exemplar by adopting to new methods received through regular training and field demonstration. Likewise, in January 2016 he also attended the training on cultivation of Bottle Gourd by improved seed sowing technique. As a result, his total production of bottle gourd from ½ bigha of farmland and 250 gram of seeds came up to 8 Quintal.

Additionally, he also manages the community seed bank at his house. Another key point, which sets Narayan as a herald of change in his community, is his initiative towards the campaign on 100% open defecation. Likewise, setting an example by constructing a toilet cum bathroom at his house. He remains relentless in advocating the cause of community hygiene and sanitation.  

Narayan is today happy and thank Seva Mandir for all the knowledge and support.

We thank you for showing interest and for your continued support to our Provide Enough Food for Poor Farmers in India” project.

Regards

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Bathroom and Toilet at Narayan
Bathroom and Toilet at Narayan's Home

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Since last 48 years, Seva Mandir stands committed to provide impoverished people with food security by developing and conserving natural resources.

Under Natural Resources Development 5000 hectares of common land agricultural intervention with 10,000 families, 12,000 hectares of watershed work, 1500 families with clean drinking water and sanitation, 45 Lift irrigation systems and 76 anicuts (small check dams) have been rejuvenated.

Among all the natural resources development works, the anicut (small check dam) intervention has more significance in terms of conserving rain water and using it throughout the year for irrigation. Each time an anicut and additional irrigation systems are constructed, it helps farmers significantly such as Bhuri. Bhuri (name changed) is a native of Thep village in southern Rajasthan. With the start of thep anicut (small check dam) intervention he became flag weaver for change in uniting community of the village. Before 2005, he was able to grow maize in monsoon season that would only last for 4 months as water was available during monsoon season only. For rest of the months, he would migrate to nearby Gujarat region to sustain his family of 5. After learning of anicut construction in his village, he knew the possible benefits and united the communities for helping hand and contribution. He along with village committee took after the responsibility of opening anicut maintenance account, collection of token money for water and making water sharing norms. After construction of the anicut, apart from maize crop, he is now able to cultivate around 60 quintal of wheat in addition to 8 Quintal  of maize and 2 Quintal of Tuar lentils. He is now also able to cultivate vegetables such as pea, onion, brinjal, chilli and potato in between the crops by which he has earned Rs 6,000 last year, this all has been possible due to availability of water throughout the year.

Today he proudly owns a motorcycle, a pair of cow-ox, and is sending his children to nearby primary school. Thep is only one of such areas that Seva Mandir is helping to develop an irrigation system.

This check dam has not been possible had your support not been there. Thank you so much for your help and support to our food security program for poor farmers. You can help these farmers and Seva Mandir even more by donating on upcoming BONUS DAY –on 15th June beginning at 9:00:01 am EDT (Washington, DC time) on Global Giving. Donations made on Bonus day will be matched by 50% by Global Giving, hence enabling us reach out to many needy farmers link Bhuri.

Please click on the link below to donate: remember – 15th June

Please consider telling your friends and family about our project and special Bonus Day

Thank you

Regards

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

Links:

Farmer working on his field in southern Rajasthan
Farmer working on his field in southern Rajasthan

Dear Friend,

Thank you for supporting our project “Provide Enough Food for Poor Farmers in India”.

Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood in the Seva Mandir working area, and nearly 93% households are self-employed farmers. Unfortunately, agriculture contributes very little to household incomes and many households even fail to produce enough for their own food security this is due to a variety of factors. Increase in population has led to a decrease in the size of landholdings, and shortage of rainfall outside of the monsoon season makes it difficult for farmers to reap more than one crop a year. Low quality seeds and inefficient practices also decrease productivity levels.

Over the past years, Seva Mandir has identified and promoted a range of activities to address the challenges of agricultural development in the area. In previous years, horticulture badis (orchards) were raised across all blocks. Saplings of various fruit trees, including gooseberry, lemon, mango and guava were planted in these badis. New experiments were also conducted in agro-forestry, in which horticulture plants were planted in pastures and private wastelands. These activities were being planted throughout the region, to provide communities with more benefits from their efforts of regenerating their lands. Additionally, vegetable nurseries were raised and the saplings were sold to other farmers in the area, thereby increasing vegetable consumption in tribal families and providing them with an opportunity to sell excess produce as cash crops.

Farmers in our region largely use the same seeds for many years or use hybrid seeds that have to be replaced every year, resulting in low productivity. Hundreds of kilograms of seeds, including maize, black gram, sismum, kulat and green gram were supplied to farmers of various villages in order to revitalize seed supplies. New seed banks for wheat, gram, and maize were also established, providing a means to replenish and store seed varieties.

Other activities that have contributed to agricultural development include the construction of vermi-compost beds to provide a source of organic fertilizer and animal husbandry camps that provide vaccination to cattle.

Through these ventures, Seva Mandir has provided farmers in the region with an opportunity to revitalize depleted resources, sustain their traditional methods of production, and eventually generate new sources of income.

All this has been possible due to your consistent support and trust in us. We would like to thank you so much for letting us meet our commitments at the field.  We have been able to benefit more than 10,000 farmers through various interventions. These farmers can now grow enough food in their fields and don’t have to migrate from farming in absence of basic necessities. We hope to continue our work with your support. Should your travel bring you to this part of the world, please do consider visiting Seva Mandir. For any feedback / suggestions, please visit me at atul.lekhra@sevamandir.org

Regards

Atul Lekhra and Seva Mandir Team

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Flourished wheat farm
Flourished wheat farm
Women taking vegetables from the farm
Women taking vegetables from the farm
Yield of lemons from a Farmer
Yield of lemons from a Farmer's orchid

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Organization Information

Seva Mandir

Location: Udaipur, Rajasthan - India
Website: http:/​/​www.sevamandir.org
Project Leader:
Priyanka Singh
Executive Director
Udaipur, Rajasthan India

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