Agri Business

Better farming practices fetch more money for Jharkhand women

Press Trust of India Ranchi | Updated on October 30, 2019 Published on October 30, 2019

 

 

Till last year, female farmers in the tribal belt of Khunti district in Jharkhand sold tomatoes at throwaway prices. This year, they have reasons to smile.

These farmers are earning at least 75 per cent more for tomatoes, thanks to better farm practices and sale of their produce through farmer producer body.

Various training programmes on how to control pest and disease attack on tomato crop during the rainy season have worked wonders for them.

Like proof of the pudding being in the eating, these farmers are now selling tomatoes for up to ₹35 a kg as against ₹15-20 per kg last year. Extension services provided by Tata Trusts and its corporate social responsibility (CSR) partners, including E&Y Foundation, have helped in increasing overall production.

The setting up of Murhunari Shakti Farmers Producers’ Company (MSFPC) in March 2018 in the Murhu block, with a population of 5,000 people, has helped in better marketing of tomatoes and in turn fetching higher prices.

“Earlier, women growers here used to sell their produce at throwaway prices in a local market, but now they are selling it to the farmer producers’ organisation MSFPC, which in turn sells in bulk to traders,” Dayamani Nag, Chairperson of MSFPC, said.

Better marketing

In this kharif season so far, the MSFPC has procured over 104 tonnes of tomatoes from member farmers and aims to purchase about 1,000 tonnes by the end of December. After purchasing from farmers, the farmer producer organisation has already sold about ₹10 lakh worth tomatoes to traders, she added.

Now, traders come to the farmer producer organisation and negotiate the price and this change has empowered women a lot, she added.

The transformation in the lives of tribal women growers of Murhu block was made possible mainly on account of the ‘Lakhpati Kisan’ initiative of the Tata Trusts, implemented by a nodal agency Collectives for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives (CInI).

Lakhpati Kisan 2020 mission aims to bring about irreversible change in the tribal growers lives through economic empowerment and improving the quality of life of tribal communities, Sirshendu Paul, Tata Trusts-CInI Regional Manager (Jharkhand), said.

“The major challenge before tribal growers of Murhu was pest and disease attack on tomato crop during the rainy season. We trained them about best farm practices and raising nursery. As a result, they are able to harvest good crop,” he said.

As many as 2,100 farmers have been trained in the Murhu block who have sown tomatoes in total 440 acres during the kharif season this year.

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Published on October 30, 2019
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