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When Everyone Termed It Impossible, This Marginal Woman Farmer Started Organic Farming & Is Now Reaping Benefits

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We have read and shared numerous stories of software engineers, MBA graduates and even scientists who quit their jobs to do organic farming and are now earning in lakhs and crores. But, many of us have the question, “If organic farming is that profitable why are the other farmers not turning to organic farming and earning a lot of money?” Efforts For Good got in touch with Anita, a marginal farmer who has adopted organic farming in 12 bighas (2 acres) of land from a small village in Hapur, UP. She narrates her experience in details.

In her own words

“A year ago I attended a session on organic farming conducted by Action India in a nearby village.  Generally, I grow sugarcane using chemical farming, but after the organic farming session, I really wanted to try out organic farming on sugarcane crop. Since I didn’t know what is organic farming, I didn’t want to risk my entire farm and face losses. So, as a starter, I planted 2 bighas of sugarcane farm and followed organic farming practices. In the rest of the land, I planted other crops like moong, arhar, as well as five bighas of sugarcane crop with chemical methods.

The yields of sugarcane from organic and chemical farming were drastically different. The cane from organic farming is fat, tall and juicy and the taste is delicious. I started making jaggery with the organic sugarcane. Everyone liked the flavour and I managed to sell a good amount of jaggery. I showed my organic sugarcane farm to Ajay Etikala who helped me with various information on how to do organic farming. He was happy to see the sugarcane field.

Jaggery made from organic sugarcane

Right now I am the only one from my village who is trying out organic farming.

Let's support the efforts of our farmers Meet Ms Anita, who has taken the first step to do organic farming despite…

Posted by Ajay Etikala on Thursday, February 21, 2019

I do not own a cow, so I have brought organic inputs like gobar, gaumutra, gulmor etc from other shops. I used decomposer and Jeevanamruth to protect the crop from pests. If I have a cow my input cost for organic agriculture will be very less. For our kind of farmers, the main hindrance is market access. Some market training will also help me move ahead and it will also encourage others to join me.

Unlike other families, I and my sister have a say what to do and what not to do in farming. So I took the whole responsibility – good or bad, profit or loss – from this experiment. I am happy with the results. After seeing my success, the other farmers who were sceptical about organic farming at first expressed their wish to join me.”

The dilemma of marginal farmers

There are many reasons why small-scale farmers are not practising organic farming. Above everything else, the farmers hesitate to experiment with a different farming technique. The reason is that if they fail, they fear that the repercussions are very severe as they do not have any other livelihood options.

According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the average monthly income of a farmer is Rs. 6,426. So the other reason to avoid organic farming is the lack of proper marketing options to sell their organic produce at good prices.

All the stories we see these days about organic farmers who are earning lakhs or crores of rupees are the ones who have more landholding with tens of acres and a good economic background.

Also Read: Victims Of Abuse, These Women In Bodh Gaya Now Earn By Turning Temple Flower Waste Into Dyes

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KHAANACHAHIYE: Fighting Hunger In COVID19

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Goonj Is Working With 1000’s Of Volunteers & Partner NGOs To Provide Covid-19 Relief In 18 States

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With the extension of the lockdown the crisis of migrant labourers and daily wagers has just grown bigger due to uncertainty and fear of future. In the migrant colonies, slums and for people in the villages hunger and desperation is building up day by day. This is high time we step up our efforts to support our people who are in dire need of food and hygiene essentials to survive the pandemic, Covid-19.

After the India-wide lockdown, a lot of jobless migrant workers are stuck in cities with hardly any resources while many started retreating back to their villages. With the loss of livelihoods, a large number of them are now struggling to support their families.

Goonj activated its pan India teams and a pan India network of partner organizations and volunteers in urban and rural India. This network, built over the last two decades, helps them learn from the ground, reach material quickly and review and adapt strategy periodically. Intensifying this network has helped Goonj reach and start work across 17produced states/UT in the last three weeks.
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2,00,000 meals served

KHAANACHAHIYE: Fighting Hunger In COVID19

95,49,369 Raised
Out of 1,00,00,000

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Goonj’s focus: 

Majority of the Covid-19 relief work by non profits right now is in the metros and cities but Goonj is the only non profit that is also simultaneously focusing on the people in the villages and the ones stuck on highways or somewhere.

Goonj is targeting daily wagers, migrants and other vulnerable groups, who even traditionally are left out like the disabled, sex workers, LGBTQ community.

“COVID-19 is a crisis, yes…But, it’s also an opportunity for us to build the society anew. Not ‘for’ the people…but, ‘with’ the people. And in the process, we will build ourselves too.” – Anshu Gupta, Founder-Director, Goonj.

Direct Monetary and Material Transfer

Wherever Goonj got the permission to open their centres for packing and disbursement of relief material kits, they are creating a kit consisting of 20-30 kgs material including dry rations, masks, sanitary pads and other hygiene material and reaching them to people, as per needs and as per regulations with all safety precautions. This kit will help a family survive for 30 days.

Information till 10th April 2020:

  • Distributed 15,100 ration kits reaching thousands of people
  • Reached 17,700 families
  • Supporting 12 community kitchen across India with 16,600kgs of ration
  • 77,800 food packets provided to migrant laborers and daily wagers walking on the roads across the country.
  • Provided direct financial support to 32 organisations
  • Made 42,800 cloth face masks
  • 24,900 cloth sanitary napkins produced
  • Produced 1500 litres of organic sanitiser

In Goonj’s processing centers its trained team of women are making cloth face masks and cloth sanitary pads (MY-Pads), keeping all the precautions and with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities.

In this lock-down phase if you are facing any difficulty getting sanitary pads or you are running out of stock, here’s a detailed but very simple process of making Cloth Pads at home created by Goonj. “This is how we make Goonj MY Pads.” This is how our mothers and grandmothers turned their spare cloth into pads.

This disaster, unlike any other, is unprecedented in its scale and impact and that’s why we all must do our bit with Goonj to continue its relief work for millions of people in this still unfolding long-tailed disaster.

The need is huge.. We are there.. Need You too !!

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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