Financial Security from Agriculture

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Key Facts
As on 31 March 2017

Farming is the primary income for the vast majority of households RGMVP works with. Given the instability in crop yield, it is critical that best practices be taught to these communities to ensure optimum seasonal yields.

Increasing productivity

Thus, RGMVP teaches System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and System of Wheat Intensification (SWI), which leads to yield improvement due to better root development. These methods also reduce water usage, reduce the cost of production, and protect crops from becoming damaged by heavy rains and wind. Women learn irrigation techniques, how to prepare compost out of cow excrement and kitchen and field waste, kitchen gardening, and how to plant intercrop fields to maximise their small land holdings.

The farmers trained in SRI/SWI methods have experienced yields increase by 30 per cent. With the surplus in grain, SHG members created grain banks, providing them with food security in case of emergencies. The compost they create is also sold to other farmers for additional income.

Community-based Seed Pilot Project

RGMVP's Community-based Seed Pilot Project (CSPP) provides a sustainable seed-security structure where farmers acquire access to high quality seed, produce higher yields, increase their profits, and have the resources to store excess seeds as savings to account for risks. In addition, this model provides women with invaluable hands-on experience with seed production techniques and management skills. These, in turn, build confidence and executive functioning capacities. Given that women and, more generally those from the rural communities, are traditionally left out of the seed production process, this project has broken this pattern by bringing rural women into the process - finally putting access to quality seed into the hands of the communities themselves.

18-Day Method of Composting

ngo working for women empowerment

RGMVP has recently initiated a pilot project in 100 Gram Panchayats to propagate the Berkeley Method of composting among small and marginal farmers. The technique was introduced to RGMVP by the Hans Foundation. The method produces high quality compost from easily available waste materials around the household and a small quantity of cow dung. It takes only 18 days compared to conventional composting methods which take up to 45 days. RGMVP plans to ensure complete saturation of the villages and widespread adoption of the method among SHG members.

RGMVP also forms Farmer SHGs as a means to support male members of SHG households who help their wives in agricultural activities.