Provide Enough Food for Poor Farmers in India

by Seva Mandir
Sita working in her field
Sita working in her field

Thank you so much for your regular support to this project. We are writing this letter to share the trends of Food Security in Rajasthan. Seva Mandir has undertaken a study on Food and Nutrition Security in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The final analysis is under process but the trends from the study reveals a dismal state of affairs. A brief literature review correlated with the analysis is given below:

The issue of Food and Nutrition Security is by and large a multifaceted one. Localized as well as external factors such as, changing economic and fiscal policy of the state, status of access to loans and other agricultural input, uncertain rainfall etc. effect the status at the household level.

Survival in a delicate ecosystem characterized by dryland areas and uncertain rainfalls is the major struggle for the poor farmers in Rajasthan. However, in recent years, their survival strategies have come under severe strain due to external interventions and demographic factors wherein the sustainability of the ecosystem has been driven to the margin. Almost 45 per cent land holdings size less than 2 hectares do not have irrigation facilities.

An issue of concern with agriculture is the declining area of production of cereal crops like bajra and small millets (considered to be more nutritious) compared to wheat. There is also decline in production of pulse as per research carried out in various parts of the state. These factors directly affect the dietary diversity of the target population and hence a declined nutritional status.

The increasing human pressure on the fragile eco-systems, absence of adequate investments and appropriate management to supplement and conserve land and water resources, population growth, macroeconomic policies that provide inducement to over-exploit the natural resource are factors that contribute to explain the environmental factors that will influence the food security of the state in the long run.

At an aggregate level the state has achieved “self-sufficiency” in food production in a normal year. But these normal years are very few and in-between. The same cannot be said of security at the household level for more than half the population of the rural areas, which survives on its own meager production and incomes from casual farm and non-farm employment.

Looking at the given trends, it is very important for us to ensure food security in our region. Many thanks for your regular support and giving us a strength to address this issue in our area.

Best regards,



We would like to thank you once again for your continuing support and faith in our work! Your valuable donations have been crucial in helping us make a great difference in people’s lives here in Rajasthan.

We are thrilled to announce that one of our photos has been selected to feature in the Photo Contest 2012 organized by Global Giving.  Voting began on August 1, 2012 and will end on August 15, 2012.

Why we want you to Vote for our Photo:

We believe the photo captures the pure spirit of the project ‘Send a Child in India to School for a Year’, and reflects the possibilities that lie ahead.  With 3 Clicks, you can help us to win the Photo Contest and the Bonus Cash Prize of $1,000!

How 3 Clicks will Help:

  • First Click - to vote for our photo following this link,
  • Second Click- to confirm your vote via an email sent to you in your inbox,
  • Third Click- to share the beautiful image among your friends, family and networks to spread the word. If you share this with just five people, we most definitely have good chance of success!

Why this Project:

Children (6-14 years old) in villages of Udaipur, India lack access to quality education for a number of reasons. In some cases they belong to very poor families whose per capita consumption is a little more than Rs. 500/-. Often these children support their family incomes by either working as laborers or performing household chores or looking after younger siblings.

Through your vote to this project, the Bonus Cash Prize will help us fund an entire rural school to provide quality education to 25 out-of-school and working children for a year.  To learn more about one of our schools, please see the enclosed photo story.

With you at our side, our work is made a little less difficult, and our efforts stretch a whole lot further. We therefore, invite you to support us with 3 clicks.  Please share your thoughts on this report.

With many thanks,

Your friends at Seva Mandir

Women working in field.
Women working in field.

Dear Friends,

Hope you are well. Half of our monsoon period is over and we have not received any rains. It is a worrisome situation for us. A large number of people in villages were we work, are dependent on agriculture. If it doesn’t rain, the food security for these families will be affected. Therefore, we are hoping that the monsoon may come in its second half and we will receive adequate rainwater in our lakes and wells. We will keep you updated on it.

With your support, many villages are food secure. For example: Rajpur village. It is a small village in the hilly area of Gurra Panchayat, of Kotra block. The village consists of 132 families spread out among 4 hamlets. In this area, families depend on rain-fed agriculture as their source of both livelihood and sustenance. The majority of these families have only a single crop for subsistence farming. Availability of water for irrigation is a large issue in the area.

In 2001, the drought year, Seva Mandir assisted in constructing 7 wells in different villages. One of these wells supports 17 farmers in their different cropping patterns. These farmers are encouraged and trained to sow green gram to meet both their dietary needs and possibly increasing their income.

This year these 17 farmers sowed 68kg of green gram (moong) and were able to harvest 1,235kg. As per the rules of the seed bank, cultivators have returned the minimum of 1.5 times the seed given to them. Thus, out of the 1,235 kg of green gram cultivated, 115 kg of seeds was returned to the bank. The market price of green gram this year is approximately Rs. 40/- (less than USD 1) which amounts to a profit of Rs. 44,880 (USD 808) for the farmers.

Green gram is the third crop of this year and has provided a surplus to the family income.  In addition to surplus, it has increased the nutrient intake of the families, especially women and children, to improve their overall diet.

We are excited to share with you such progress we make in this region with your support. Thank you again, for your continuing support to us. We hope to meet with you some day and show you some of our work in villages.

Thanks and regards,


View from the field.
View from the field.
Farmers working in their field
Farmers working in their field

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Seva Mandir!

Hope you are well. Thank you for your valuable support to the project ‘Improving food security for tribal farmers’. With your support we are touching lives of 5,000 tribal farmers of South Rajasthan with a variety of agriculture related programs.

With this program, the aim is to enable farmers optimize the potential of their resources available by using improved farming methods, cultivating organic manure, using better quality seeds etc. These all ultimately result into better farming outputs. Using these techniques are useful especially when there has been a significant work done on improving productivity of natural resources in the region – such as soil and water conservation measures. Please find enclosed annual report for the progress we made from April 2011 to March 2012. For your convenience, I am listing some key highlights of the progress we have made in this program with all your support –

  • We supported 624 farmers to plant 16,727 fruit saplings including mango, aonla (goose berries), guava, lemon and sapota (cheeku).
  • Supported 327 farmers to construct beds for following vermicomposting to enable farmers to convert their farm waste and animal refuse into highly productive manure
  • Distributed quality seeds to 2,240 farmers for growing a number of vegetables and grains.
  • Sudan Grass was provided in Helpia village of 10 farmers in summer season and farmers profit near about Rs. 100,000/- (USD 2,222)
  • 38 tons vemicompost was produced from three villages and 5 farmers sold it and earned 29,160/- (USD 648).
  • 60 Seed banks are functional successfully.

I hope you would enjoy reading the report. Many thanks once again for assuring food security to 5,000 farmers. Please share feedback on the report if any.

With warm regards,



Lady picking okra from her farm
Lady picking okra from her farm

Dear Friends,

Hope you are well. I am writing to thank you for your most generous and regular support to tribal farmers of our region. Here the winter is all set to say us a good bye for this year.  The farmers are eagerly waiting for the harvesting of their wheat crop very soon.

Since last year, it rained fairly well, resulting into a better crop this year. You would be delighted to note that more than 440 farmers were benefited with your support during all this time. These farmers have, cultivated Kharif (winter) and Zaid (summer) crops (including vegetables).

In the reporting period (From April 2011 to September 2011), these farmers have grown a number of vegetables such as bottle guard, ridge guard, okra, cluster beans, chilly and coriander. These vegetables allow these farmers to make some money as well as cater to their nutritional needs.  I take an immense pleasure sharing a half yearly report on this project you are supporting. These farmers with your support have made more than Rs. 500,000 (around $ 10,000 ) by producing vegetables. There is an inspiring story of a village in the report, which you will enjoy reading. I am also copying that story below my letter, in case you open the report at your leisure.

The story details as how with little help these farmers are able to grow vegetables in small farms that they own and help their families.

Once again, a very big thank you for your valuable support. We hope you will continue supporting these farmers and helping their families have better food and income.  Please also share your thoughts on this feedback report. We hope to see you here some day.

With warm regards,



Story of Village Peepad

Some farmers in village “Peepad” were enrolled for vegetable cultivation program of Seva Mandir. Some other farmers also had shown interest after seeing the progress made by these farmers. . These farmers too decided to grow vegetables on their farms The 37 farmers out of 42 requested for good quality seeds of Cluster Beans. With Seva Mandir’s help 3 farmers who were representing the entire group (42 farmers) went to Udaipur City in order to explore various kinds of seeds available for the Cluster Beans. After close research the farmers selected the “Sarit Soumya 700” variety. It was bought and distributed to selected farmers (39 who showed interest in growing cluster beans).

The total farming area is 21.5 bighas that these farmers cultivated on. In the beginning, the farmers didn’t receive a fair price for their crops but later, as their total produce increased as a result of better rainfall. The farmers were able to make good income. A total of 13,300 of cluster beans were produced from the total 4.59 hectare of land. They sold their produce between Rs 10 – Rs 25 (below $1) stabilizing the price at an average of Rs 18 per kilos.

 In total they all earned an income of more than Rs 236,800 (USD 5,262). Apart from cluster beans, the farmers also  grew other vegetables like Ridge Guard, chilies, coriander, pumpkin, lady finger (okra), tomatoes, moong (Green gram) and  earned Rs 711,00 (USD 1,590).  

Farmer taking care of his farm
Farmer taking care of his farm



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Organization Information

Seva Mandir

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

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