Written By: Ms. Sukanya Chatterjee, Manager East, Kolkata
Koraput, Odisha: Kama Jani lives in Bamankot village with his family of five. He and his wife Sanai worked hard in their two acres land to support their family. Earlier, the family was engaged in rain fed agriculture which would fetch them an annual income of Rs. 12,000, insufficient to meet their survival needs. The variability in rainfall, added to their misery.
Through the support of IDS (Integrated Development Society), a Koraput based organization, Kama learnt about improved agricultural practices like multi-cropping, mixed cropping and the role of organic manure in increasing productivity. Regular technical input and training from the IDS team helped him in cultivating different varieties of vegetable like sweet potato, brinjal, chilly, papaya and drumstick in his land. Earlier, he was growing only paddy in his land and that too only during the rainy season.
With project support, he started multi farming with drip irrigation on his farmland in June 2015, with which he increased his cultivable land by including 0.50 acres of wasteland which otherwise remained fallow. As a result of this, he has now increased both his production as well as productivity of his plot. This has helped him to grow different types of seasonal vegetables throughout the year.
Within a few months Kama’s income from the sale of his produce has seen a remarkable change. In September 2015 with only his chilly and brinjal harvest, he was able to earn Rs. 16,000. After meeting expenses, he still managed to save Rs. 7,000. During the month of December 2015, he again managed to earn a profit of Rs. 3000 from selling his produce from the third harvest of the year.
Kama and Sanai are not only increasing their productivity by adopting the multi – cropping practice but are also investing their yield judiciously. They are now spending in farm inputs towards making vermin compost. Earlier, the family’s consumption pattern was poor as they could only afford rice and rarely could eat vegetables. With the increase in income, they have now set up nutrition garden which has considerably helped them improve their household consumption. Further, Kama is also investing in the education of his children by enrolling them in the nearby school which he was earlier incapable of due to his limited income.
The increased income has not only helped in increasing the food security of the family but has also percolated in the other aspects and is contributing towards improving the overall quality of life of the family.
IDS is implementing Sustainable Options for Uplifting Livelihood (SOUL), the flagship livelihood programme of IGSSS in selected intervention areas of Odisha.