Rukmani Devi is a senior citizen belonging to village Sondhaar, Block Jakahnidar in Uttranchal. She has only 0.2 hectare farm land, house and a buffalo as property. Her soaring economic condition forced her to earn livelihood through farming. Her courage to take initiative and choosing new varieties for farming changed her life forever. Now, she is showing a way of prosperity to young farmers.
As other fellow farmers were doing cabbage farming in her village, she also took-up cabbage cultivation but it could not contribute much to her income. Meanwhile, a group of agriculture scientists from Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) visited her village for interaction with farmers. Scientists provided them information regarding work done at Ranichauri hill campus. It was decided that a first line demonstration will be organized in Kharif season for the benefit of farmers
As per schedule, scientists demonstrated the first line demonstration of soybean in the field of 28 farmers. Farmers got around 10.5 quintal/hectare production which is more then what they were getting from their previous crop. This demonstration encouraged them to do some experiment with their traditional farming techniques. Second step in this direction was another first line demonstration in Rabi season by the KVK’s scientists. This time, they got around 24% more production which is 23 quintal/hectare.
Scientists came to know that farmers are not having knowledge of off-seasonal vegetables which can contribute in their income handsomely. This area had the model ecological conditions for growing off-seasonal vegetables. Farmer’s enthusiasm encouraged scientists to provide them the technical know-how for non seasonal vegetables.
Under this programme, 28 farmers trained for raising a good nursery of Challenger (cabbage) and Manisha (Tomato) varieties with the use of vermicompost and organic fertilizers. Rukmani Devi was one of the beneficiaries of this programme. She got 100 plants for farming. She invested merely Rs 25.50 for cabbage farming but the income was much more then the invested money. She earned Rs 600 by selling 60 Kg cabbage at 10 Rs/Kg rate. She saved another 10 Kg cabbage for her household consumption. Thus, she could get a bumper crop of 240 quintal/ hectare of cabbage.
This is the first time that Rukmani earned money out of vegetable farming. She is grateful to the scientists for showing her a new way of economic independence
Economics of off-seasonal cabbage farming was very attractive for the farmers. Now, many more farmers are approaching to scientists to get their help. Thanks to initiatives taken by Rukmani Devi.
(Source: NAIP Sub-Project on Mass Media Mobilization, DIPA with inputs from GBPUA&T, Pantnagar)