The surplus is sold in the local market
First of all, many thanks for your continuing support to this program. I am writing to provide you with a brief description of what we have been doing all this while in this project you are supporting. I will attempt to give you a brief overview of the progress we have made in this covering letter however; a detailed report on the same is enclosed herewith for your reference.
We have been working with 5000 farmers for improving their food and income security. 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. There are many challenges with farming, as we all know. In view of the harsh geographical and climatic condition of our region compounded with low productivity of natural resources, our response has been mainly two fold. On one hand we focus on improving the overall productivity of the natural resources (land and water) and on the other hand we address the immediate needs of a farmer in terms of improving the agriculture productivity and training the farmers to make optimum use of available resources.
Therefore, the programs that focus on the long term gains are – water and soil conservation, planting trees and growing grasses, ground water and moisture retention activities as well as water harvesting programs. These programs together add up to improving the overall quality of the land and soil (in terms of nutrients and moisture) and also help recharge ground water tables.
In the meanwhile we focus on improving the agriculture production for food and income security. It is done through 3 main activities as-
1) producing and using organic manure to help increase the agriculture production;
2) planting fruit trees for income generation and self subsistence and
3) cultivating vegetables as cash-crops and self subsistence
These activities allow farmers to utilize their resources like land, water, labor and time to their full potential. In addition, the increased production is useful for their own subsistence, improving their nutritional inputs and earns them more cash. The population we work with is very poor and their nutritional levels are also very low. Therefore even a small increase in their income can help them go a long way. “According to a survey conducted by the Poverty Action Lab (of MIT) in 2007, the monthly per capita consumption (MPCC, the total value of all goods and services consumed by an individual in the course of a month) of the population in Seva Mandir's work area stands at Rs.578.2, (USD 13) equivalent to less than Rs.20 a day. On average 70% of MPCC is composed of food, fuel and lighting”. The report enclosed gives a full picture of these various programs and also explain how your support to this program is benefitting hundreds of farmers.
Following are some snapshots of this program from 2008 to 2010–
• 10,507 fruit trees have been planted with 591 farmers
• In the current year we will be planting 13,000 fruit trees.
• 677 families have been supported with vegetable cultivation program, earning from USD 5 to 16 per week for a couple of months. This income was additional to what they usually earn.
• 235 farmers have adopted vermin-composting practices
The following story is very inspiring –
“In village Kojo ka Guda we are working with 41 farmers, of which we supported 9 farmers with vegetable cultivation program who have access to marginal irrigation. These 9 farmers were given seeds of Okra, Eggplants and Bottle guard. They cultivated these seeds on a piece of land around 0.05 ha. These farmers were able to produce adequate vegetables. After their own consumption they sold the surplus in the local market earning Rs.200 (USD 5) per week for two months. Dholaram and Gangaram from the same village planted vegetables in 0.10 ha of area and earned Rs.750/- (USD 16) per week. The results have boosted confidence and all farmers are very positive about the vegetable cultivation program”.
This progress is a result of your continued support to this program. We would like to extend our gratitude to your support and faith in this program. We very much hope that the enclosed report will provide you with some more details, figures and stories. We are very excited to share with you these details because with your support we have made progress to this far. A very big thanks to you once again.
Please do share your thoughts on this We hope that you would be able to visit us someday. Thank you for all your significant support.
With warm regards,