Agriculture and allied activities support livelihoods of nearly 70 percent of India’s rural population. In recent years, land based livelihoods of small and marginal farmers are increasingly becoming unsustainable, since their land has not been able to support the family’s food requirements and fodder for their cattle. As a result, rural households are forced to look at alternative means for supplementing their livelihoods. Every year millions of poor families migrate in search of work. They are forced to migrate due to a livelihoods collapse in the villages. These distress migrants often lock their homes, take a few meager belongings and move across long distances. Handholding these farmers has been the prime agenda has is vital in making them sustainable.
Samra Meghraj Gadhvi – 12years old, Nanabhadiya
Drip Irrigation and Horticulture Plots
“My parents own 11 acres of land. We have received one acre of a horticulture plot of papayas through CGPL. We sell the produce to nearby village markets. The papayas are an expensive marketable crop which has led to earning twice the income we did before. Drip irrigation system has also been set up for 1 acre of our land which saves water, increases production and reduces weeds and soil erosion. This has also led to my family farming all year round and not being dependent on rain. 6 farmers in my village have got one hectare of drip irrigation installed and 5 horticulture plots have been set up by Mundra UMPP team. There have been more discussions on expanding this project and its beneficiaries, due to its tremendous potential in increasing incomes. This proves how committed CGPL is to our village and its people.”
Ranmalbhai Gadhvi, Nana bhadiya villageDrip irrigation – Beneficiary
“I own 8 acres of land. Mundra UMPP has helped the profitability from farming by investing in check dams, farm bunding projects, well recharging, waste water storage and recharge. I was a beneficiary of drip irrigation system in 2acres and horticulture plot in one acre, undertaken by Mundra UMPP. Drip irrigation is beneficial in more than one way and leads to more profitability from farming. I feel that in the future, those who have tractors will have JCBs and those who have cycles will have cars and people’s status will keep changing and evolving due to company’s sustained efforts”.
Natubha Jadeja, 47 years old, Tragadi Chaff cutter beneficiary
“Mundra UMPP has made investments in dairies, drainage, solid waste management, education, etc. The scheme the Government offered regarding subsidized chaff cutters was advocated by CGPL and they made these available to us. Chaff cutters which are an important tool for farming processes are available in the market for Rs.5000. In addition to having an impact on the income, it reduces costs, reduces use of labour and increases labour productivity. Under the scheme, chaff cutters were subsidized at Rs. 1200 and 10-15 people availed of it, which was only possible due to company’s efforts to spread awareness on this scheme. I am also one of the many people in the village who has also been able to start a diary with the help of it. This elaborates on the work of CGPL to lead the area to productive change in incomes and standards of living.”
Samat Gadhavi , 30 years old, Mota Kandagara Farmer Trainings – Beneficiary
“I own 10 acres of land, am engaged in construction labour and own a seeds shop for the past 12 years. I went with 20 other farmers from the village, to Mundra town for a farmers training workshop. It taught me new ways to increase productivity and judiciously use pesticides. Lectures were made on farming techniques and NRM methods. The training helped me get more information on farming techniques and best practices in `agriculture. I feel that there is a strong need for trainings among farmers. Like other farmers in my village, I had never been to any training before. All of us have been given a new and beneficial orientation to improving the productivity from our farms and making the occupation profitable.”
Promoting Animal Husbandry
One of our most promising interventions to support animal husbandry has been setting up a self sustainable Charitable Trust in the name “Tunda Vandh Gauseva Charitable Trust” having major representation from the villagers. With 39 hectares of grazing land now available to the villagers, there has been a significant thrust to animal husbandry business. There has been increase in milk yield and hence enhanced income levels of local people. Regular vaccination and cattle check up camps are also held from time to time.
Surendra Sinh, 33 years old, Tragadi village Dairy Establishment
“I run a dairy called ‘Sarhad’ which is an 11 people cooperative. Earlier milk had very low prices and we got only Rs.11 which has now gone up to Rs.18 which increases, depending on the level of fat in the milk. Milk is supplied by 35 households in the village. This center established by Mundra UMPP team buys the milk and sells the large quantities collected to Bhindra village for higher prices. We pay rents for the centre through profits made by the cooperative. Work opportunities were minimal a few years ago and people were only dependent on agriculture and no animal husbandry was possible because of lack of fodder. This has now changed due to company’s fodder supply program. The benefits accrued from the establishment of CGPL in our area have been numerous”.
Vanka Paba Rabari , 70 years old, Vandh village Animal Shelter (Gaushala) Beneficiary
“The company has made a Gaushala (animal shed) right next to the plant where all the cattle come for grazing. The company supplies regular fodder in the gaushala. The positive impact of this intervention has been that there has been a regular supply of fodder. With such supply the cattle are healthier and give better milk production thus increasing our income. Also with the company coming in, the prices of milk have increased, giving us a better return. The company has also employed people in the Gaushala thus creating job opportunities. These are just a few of the great initiatives done by CGPL for our benefit and the betterment of our lives.”
Hirabhai Rajabhai Rabari, 60 years old, Vandh village Animal Shelter (Gaushala) Beneficiary
“I am a part of the Gaushala trust, which is formed with people from Vandh, Tunda and the company. The trust takes out a tender and gives the cattle feed contract to the lowest bidder usually from Mandvi or other bigger cities. They undertake the day to day operations of the trust, the company gives the trust a lump sum and they disburse the payments. This arrangement ensures inclusive development and equal opportunity to all the people in the community. Cattle of both Tunda and Vandh villages graze in the Gaushala. With good quality and adequate fodder, the cattle get good nutrition and give more milk which has improved the income levels. This trust has also has led to new sustainable job opportunities for people in the villages.”