Provide Enough Food for Poor Farmers in India

by Seva Mandir
Metal boxes to store seeds/grains
Metal boxes to store seeds/grains

Dear Friends,

I am so happy sharing this piece of report that my colleague Niranjan has put together for you. It is a great way to end my day here in India today. One it is so very kind of you to consider making a donation to this project. I thank all of you who have just made their contributions to this project in order for it to win the Top 10 Wins challenge on Global Giving UK. We are right now on the fourth position with 13 donors. We need another 12 people to help us out. I request you to please consider supporting this project and please help double our happiness on the festival of Holi (is on 19th & 20th March this year).

The other reason of ending my day with a great reason is to read the report Niranjan has just shared with me. I am just copying his report below my letter and would encourage you to see what great work these farmers have done to deal with their food security issues in their region. It is really surprizing that most of these farmers hold very small pieces of lands but with some support and trainings from Seva Mandir and freinds like you they have made really amazing progress.

Here I end my letter and let you read the report.

Once again for all your support. Please do consider making another donation and help this project win £500 with this Top 10 Wins challenge. We need another £200 only. Please help these farmers a bit more.

With best regards,

Deepti

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Community seed bank

 

The seed bank program of Seva Mandir aims at improving the “Seed/food security” of the farmers in villages of South Rajasthan. The main idea is that the farmers don’t have to pay for the seeds provided to them by Seva Mandir under this program however each farmer needs to return 1.5 or 1.25 times more seeds from what each of them had borrowed from the seed bank.

From these Seed Banks the farmers are able to receive improved and climate variation resilient crop seeds for all cropping seasons such as kharif, rabi and zaid.

The farmers can have access to maize, wheat, black gram, sesame, rice, mustard, wheat, bengal gram, green gram and vegetable crop seeds. The seed banks once set up are being managed by the village development committees. These committees are being set up by the villagers only.

Each farmer’s share of returned seeds is stored in the seed bank in large metal drums/boxes. To keep the seeds safe some treatment is also used.

Therefore, the villagers are trained to keep records for loaning out and collecting back the seeds, keeping and storing the seeds safely and distributing them at the time of sowing etc. After sometime each seed bank becomes a grain bank due to each farmer returning back their share (1.5 to 1.25 times more) and therefore it ultimately enhances the ‘food security’ in villages.

At present there are 52 seeds bank in all the 6 blocks of Seva Mandir. For example in Jhadol Block the village Kitavato ka vas has a community seed bank. Seva Mandir has provided the village with good quality seeds of Maize (48 Kg), Black Gram (28 Kg), Wheat (150 Kg) and Bangle grane (60Kg)

After harvesting of the both the seasons’ crop the farmers have returned their share of seeds in their seed bank (1.5 times more). The details of which is as under -

 

  • Wheat (220 Kg)
  • Black Gram (38 Kg.)
  • Bangle Gram (90 Kg.)
  • Maize (70 Kg.)
farmers with their share of seeds
farmers with their share of seeds

Links:


Attachments:
The chick peas harvested this year
The chick peas harvested this year

Dear Friends,

Many thanks for supporting this project and ensuring food security for tribal farmers of our region.

As you know Seva Mandir is participating in Top 10 Wins challenge on Global Giving. We are promoting your favorite project –“Improving Food Security for Tribal Farmers in Udaipur, India”.

We are reaching out to 5000 farmers every year and with a variety of interventions attempting to increase their agriculture production; more specifically growing vegetables, promoting the use of organic manure (composting done with earth worms) and an access to a seed bank program.

This program is doing really well with your support. We encourage you to consider making another donation between 1st March to 14th March (the period of this challenge) to help your project win more money and attention.

I am enclosing a small report that my colleagues (who are directly involved in this program in the villages) have put together for you. Last year in the month of February, 13 farmers received green gram seeds. Green gram apart from being highly rich in nutrients is also beneficial for crop rotation as it enriches soil with Nitrogen (very good for soil productivity).

The farmers have recently harvested their crop using the seeds given to them last year. These farmers are now planning to sow wheat for the next crop both because it rained adequately last year and also they have better soil for the wheat crop now.

These 13 farmers were able to sell their harvest for over 1200 USD together. This is remarkable sale and this has all been possible because of your support.

This year has begun with a vibrant color of green. All the farmers in villages are now waiting for the festival HOLI (festival of colors). Along with this great harvest it is also the time for all of us to have late night celebration( Jagran ) in villages and looking forward to play with colors on the 19th and 20th March (Holi festival).

Please do consider to support your favorite project again and make it a winner in the Top 10 Wins Challenge (before 14th March). This is also the perfect timing for you to give away a gift to these farmers on HOLI.

Wishing you all a very Happy Holi from all of us here!!

With warm regards,

Deepti

Links:


Attachments:
Durga Kumari sends you her greetings
Durga Kumari sends you her greetings

Wishing you a very happy, prosperous and wonderful 2011. Thank you friends for extending peace, love and support to all of us in 2010. We look forward to another great year with you. Year by year, our association is getting stronger. Thank you very much for adding happiness to our lives.

A small drawing made by Durga Kumari is presented as a token of our wishes to you.

Have an awesome year ahead.

Warm regards,

Deepti

Links:

Dalu with her coriander crop
Dalu with her coriander crop

Dear Friends,

Happy Holiday Season!

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season. This year the winter started a little later here but it is pleasantly cold right now. We hope it is also nice weather where you are.

Thank you for supporting the village farmers and families becoming food-secure in our region. The farmers we work with are mainly dependant on agriculture and animal husbandry. These tribal farmers own very small pieces of land i.e. less than 1 ha. Udaipur is a dry and drought prone area with an average annual rainfall of 625 mm.

However, with little encouragement and support, farmers can produce vegetables all round the year. Vegetables can be cultivated on small plots of land with very little inputs. Seva Mandir is encouraging farmers to grow vegetables on both small and medium scale.

In small scale initiative we promote vegetable nurseries. A number of farmers pick healthy vegetable saplings from the nurseries. For the medium scale production, the farmers are trained to grow vegetables on an intensive and professional way, called as sabji-wadi technique (Vegetable Field). The story given below – is of an explanation of the vegetable cultivation activity.

We are also very happy to share with you a detailed report on this program. Please find enclosed a midyear progress report on Vegetable cultivation program.

It is exciting for us to share the progress with you at the time of holiday season. Thank you for being an incredible partner to us. Please consider donating again to this program at this festivity and also tell about it to your friends.

Many thanks once again. Happy Holiday Season to you once again from all of us here.

With warm regards,

Deepti

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Dalu Bai and her husband are residents of village Majera of block Kumbhalharh. They are very happy and proud farmers because they underwent training last year and subsequently cultivated coriander in their fields. Dalu Bai and her husband used to cultivate mainly the field crops for subsistence, such as Maize or Wheat if there was enough water. Dalu Bai in one of the meetings conducted by the CIG (Common Interest group) learnt more about the vegetable cultivation.

Earlier, she and her family didn’t know that it could be possible in their region as well. A technical training on vegetable cultivation organized and supported by Seva Mandir helped them know more about the various aspects of vegetable cultivation. After the training Dalu was provided with one kg of coriander seeds. She and her husband sown the seeds on 0.1 hectare of their land. Dalu Bai was able to produce 400 kg of coriander leaves. She sold her produce in the vegetable market of Udaipur and Rajsamand for Rs. 55 per kg. In the end, she earned Rs.22,000/- (USD 489). She and her family is so very happy at this income.

Links:


Attachments:
better crops
better crops

Dear Friends,

We want you to know that we are truly grateful to you for your generous support to us every time. In this letter you will find out why we are so grateful to you.

One of my colleagues Niranjan has shared a beautiful story of two villages where the rural tribal farmers are producing the organic compost and you can see the ripple effect of it. Before I share the story I would like to share with you the good news of this year’s monsoon. The monsoon has been great so far. It rained almost every day this year which is unusual to this region. Usually we receive 20 rainy days in the monsoon. Just yesterday one of the most popular lakes in Udaipur city – Fatehsagar has got filled up fully with lots of rain water. Hundreds of people are gathering around the lake to enjoy the water spill over. In villages too some of the streams are flowing and everyone is very happy with the monsoon and greenery everywhere.

In village Gadunia and Babri we initiated the vermi-composting with some farmers. Last year, three farmers in these villages produced 110 kg of worms (earth worms to help de-compost the bio-degradable matter). These farmers had attended the trainings of Seva Mandir. After producing the compost and worms they sold one kg of worms for Rs. 100 to another 55 farmers who were interested in taking up this initiative too. The three farmers together earned Rs. 11,000 (USD 245). The 55 farmers produced between 1.5 to 5 quintals of vermin-compost early this year. One of these farmers Bhimaji was able to produce 155 kg of compost which he sold to other farmers at Rs. 9 per kilo. He earned a profit of Rs. 1395 (USD 31) which is three fold; for not only what he produced but also for all his labor and time that he invested in this entire activity.

The farmers make the earthen pits for vermin composting. The main biodegradable matter for decomposing is cow dung; agriculture waste, twigs/leaves and the earth worms decompose it into fertile dark earth. However, the earthen pits have their own limitations and termite problems. In view of this Seva Mandir supported these farmers to build cemented pits. Each farmer was given Rs. 1200 to build the cemented pits. Today these these farmers are producing even more compost and using it for their various crops – Maize, black gram and cotton. Needless to say, the production of their crops goes much higher with using the locally produced organic manure.

You have added to these farmers’ happiness. We are most grateful to your continuing support to this program. Not only these farmers are earning more money, but their crops are being grown with organic compost that they themselves produce. Many thanks from all of us here for being with us throughout.

It would be very encouraging if you could provide us with your comments on our feedback reports that we post on Global Giving in addition to your continuing support.

We will keep you posted on our progress. With warm regards,

Deepti

Links:

 

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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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