Reported By: Mr. Basil Xess, Assistant Manager, East Zone
Edited By: Communications Team
Hazaribagh, Jharkhand: Sonua Manhji, a 55 year old small farmer, belonged from Gajarwada village of Churchu block. He is the owner of 2.5 acres of land and depended on agriculture, minor forest products and also worked as daily wage labourer for the sustenance of his six member family. Life was difficult for him as his livelihood depended on a small piece of land and uncertainty of labour work.Lack of irrigation facilities made it difficult for him to cultivate more than one crop a year and so he only grew paddy during the kharif season.
With a will to turn things around for him and his family, he participated in the village level awareness camps initiated by IGSSS at the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Hazaribagh. These awareness camps provided Sonua and many other farmers like him training on sustainable agriculture practices and food security. A small pond was also dug near Sonua’s house targeting a total of 10 direct beneficiaries of his village.
With the pond for irrigation and the training from the awareness camps, Sonua decided to cultivate two crops a year. In 2014 he was able to grow paddy and rice and vegetables like potatoes and beans, some of which he was also able to sell in the market. All this helped him earn a gross income of Rs. 2190 per month. Sonua is very happy as he is now able to change his as well as his family’s life. He shared, ‘I am thankful to IGSSS for supporting and motivating me for vegetable and wheat cultivation as a second crop.’ He feels encouraged to grow many more varieties of vegetables in different seasons to generate a sustainable income for his family.
Indo – Global Social Service Society (IGSSS) has been implementing a project ‘Provision for Livelihood and Nutrition Security for Tribal Families (PLANT)’ in 20 villages of the Churchu block in Hazaribagh since November 2014 with the support from SCIAF. The Churchu block is characterized by tribal communities with low family income, periods of hunger due to subsistence farming, low crop production, negligible marketable crops, shortage of food grains for three to four month a year and limited opportunities for livelihood for women.
With the objective of addressing the livelihood concerns, IGSSS started a pilot project ‘Strengthening Food Security System’ in four villages of the Churchu block with the support from SCIAF in December 2013 which paved the way for this new three year project, PLANT.