Dhanalakshmi and her husband Irudhayaraj provide a recent example of the way your donation continues to transform lives. On their one-acre farm, they grow sesame, peanuts, chillies, brinjal (eggplant), and two types of gourds. One of these, the snake gourd, is not only rich in vitamins and minerals but has antibiotic qualities that are considered to boost immunity. So this year, they decided to devote 40% of their land to growing more of it.
Using the training they had received from VOICE Trust, they used neem and goat manure as fertilizer. Neem, made from the native neem tree, enriches the soil, reduces nitrogen loss and protects the crops against certain pests. For more natural pest control, they used a ginger, garlic, and chilli mixture. And because they also have two cows, they were able to make panchakavya, as we had taught them, from cow dung, urine, milk, and ghee. They applied it three times during the season to promote plant growth and to further control pests.
Their gamble paid off. The sustainable farming techniques they had used produced an abundant crop. Because of the natural diversity of the seeds they used, which they had previously banked, they were able to harvest from day 50 through the 112th day. After the first, month-long, harvest, they had a whopping 130 kg of gourds. The gourds sold quickly, and returned a net profit of Rs. 48660 (almost $700 US) -- about twice what the average Indian farm would provide in that time.
Enjoy the smile on Dhanalakshmi’s face: your support put it there!
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