A Successful Model for Marginal Farmers!

A Successful Model for Marginal Farmers!

Malan Raut’s family residing in Nagarsoga village from the drought prone area of Latur district, could barely manage to survive with very little income coming from two acres of land. Malan, who was from Mumbai city had no experience of working in the fields so she kept on trying other works as well like running a beauty parlor and making household items etc. This was not enough to meet basic needs of her family and education for their children, two daughters and a son.   

Malan came to know about Swayam Shikshan Prayog and joined a Self Help Group, and took loans for agricultural practices and constructed a bore well which made more water available. Her family realized that they will have to upgrade their agricultural practices in order to make it work for them. They tried with planting sugarcane in half an acre this time which was sold at good price. They could repay the loan they took for borewell.  

They built a farmhouse and started living in the field and decided to try multi crops farming. In the meantime Malan got an opportunity to go for the training on Micro enterprises at the Agro Science center at Latur. She further took special training in horticulture with minimal use of water, different techniques like malching, making manure from the waste products etc.   

After this there was no looking back for Malan. Along with her husband’s support she started implementing different crop combinations and techniques in her field. With half an acre for sugarcane and wisely choosing different crops like pulses and grains in a small portion to achieve food security for the family for rest of the field she balanced 18 guntas of her land and earns Rs. 15-20,000 per month. 

Fruit crops from her land of 18 guntas include 120 sandalwood trees, 90 custard apple, 15 different varieties of mangoes, 30 teakwood, 2 papaya, 4 guava, 2 oranges, 2 lemon tree,10 sweet lemon, miliadubia in between the custard apple, along with trees of tamarind, jamun, amla, figs, pomegranate, coconut, bamboo and drumsticks on the boundaries of the field. Half an acre was dedicated for growing different vegetables like spinach, onion, garlic, fenugreek etc. which proved to be cash crops throughout the year. 

In addition, she has livestock for financial growth - a cow, two bulls, eight goats and twenty hens. This supported for organic farming needs since the excreta of the animals is excellent manure. Selling them for meat also gained added income. The different variety of trees in the field satisfied the need for food and shelter of these animals. For e.g. in the shade of big mango trees animal sheds can be built.   

Malan used to sell her vegetables and other animal products like eggs etc. directly in the weekly market instead of selling to the mediator businessmen which increased her profit margin. She learnt the techniques to make all the organic pesticides and fertilizers required for her field which saved a lot of her expenses.  

Article: The Hindu Business Line