Organic Farming of Vegetables and Enhancement
of Livelihood Assets

Maujilal, a 40-year-old farmer from Khajraha Bujurg panchayat in Jhansi, is a good example of how Development Alternatives is enabling secured livelihoods that are dependent on natural resources and agricultural practices, which are also assisting communities in determining and adopting consumption levels within the ecological capacity.

Maujilal was among the 15 farmers to whom DA distributed kits of vegetable seeds through the village institution (VI) in June, when farmers prepare themselves for cultivation. Bansi also received the kit which consisted vegetables like bhindi, guar, aal, taroi, galki, lauki, tamatar, baingan, tanchi, dhaniya and palak.

Nagji too found a new opportunity with the help of the organisation. Setting a good example of organic farming, he cultivated vegetables on his one-hectare land, utilising the kit and also adding one kilogram seeds of his own to it. He used cow dung as green manure fertilizer and excluded DAP and other chemical fertilizers. He said, “Desi khad achchha hota hai, bas thodi mehnat lagti hai. (Indigenous fertilizer is better, only that it requires a little bit of hard work.)” His words clearly reveal the desire to adopt organic measures. To avoid pests like illi and masar, he regularly sprayed pesticide every eight days.

These steps ensured bountiful harvest. Bansi sold the production in the market every three days. However, the production of baingan and tamatar could not go up much since they needed more space for growth and were less pest-resistant too. On the other hand, bhindi and guar had a much better yield. His income went up to Rs 700 a day - and once he made even Rs 900 in a day - bringing up his monthly income to about Rs 25,000-30,000. This helped him clear his debts and yet he was left with some saving that he invested for further cultivation.

Maujilal sets an example for the villagers by shifting from conventional farming to organic farming with the utilisation of the vegetable kit. The intervention delivered livelihood-related outcomes like higher net farm income, and also improved nutrition and health, food safety and food quality. It also increased their self-sufficiency.

After adopting organic farming practices, farmers have benefitted from higher crop yields, lower growing costs and fewer health issues. They have seen an enhancement in their assets: like natural assets (for example, soil and water resources, increased soil fertility), social assets (like social networks), human assets (knowledge, information), financial assets, and better maintenance of cultural assets. On the other hand, their vulnerability - to pest and disease problems, droughts, dependence on costly inputs and credits - has come down.



Rishabh Singh

Back to Contents

  Share Subscribe Home

Contact Us

About Us