Life after flood: Women’s rebuilding initiatives in Wayanad, Kerala!

“We can change our life if we have a will”, says Vellachi, President, Sakhi Group women farmer from Kavatta colony.   

This is the story of a group of six women farmers of Kavatta Tribal colony of Edavaka Panchayat, Wayanad. When the Kerala flood 2018 devastated their life, few women leaders took initiative in addressing their daily needs. 

These communities are belonged to Paniya tribal community, who lost agriculture and livelihood options after flood. Women were associated in Self Help Group and doing formal activities of savings and credit before the flood.  

When Swayam Shikshan Prayog - SSP mobilized the women and formed Sakhi Farmers Group, they started thinking of doing group farming via organic methods. They cultivated Pea, Brinjal, Green Chilly, Cucumber, Karkoonthal Beans and Snake guard in one acre leased land. This is the first time they took farming after flood. They feared that they will lose everything and did not go for cultivation.  Due to SSP’s mobilization and orientation the women farmers reaped success from these initiatives. They shared the labour in the farm and bought a pump set for proper irrigation. The group did not use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. They used cow dung manure and local leaves as fertilizers.    As part of 15th April Vishu festival, they got a good demand from customers and sold the Pea @ Rs 50 per kg when the market rate is only Rs 13. This is a huge success and women got confidence to do expand the vegetable cultivation to more area to earn more income for family!