There is a famous saying by Roy T. Bennett “Dedicate yourself to what gives your life true meaning and purpose; make a positive difference in someone's life.”, these lines correlate with 20 women residing in Bhima Ka Kheda in Ghatol Tehsil, Banswara. These women have not only changed their lives but also connected with other women of their village to change their lives as well.
Most of these women have been practicing farming for ages, but little did they know the nuances of farming that would improve resources and livelihood at the same time, it was after connecting with a programme named SIFS (Sustainable Integrated Farming System) implemented by Vaagdhara with the support of KKS Germany, that they have started practicing integrated farming that helped enhance their income and improve their livelihood.
One of the women farmers of ‘Saksham Samuh’, Paru Devi proudly says, “I was so ignorant earlier that when someone approached me and asked me regarding farming and livelihood, I would keep mum but now after sufficient training and capacity building through SIFS programme, I have managed to learn a lot of things which has boosted my confidence. I am associated with this programme since 2009, every month a group of 20 women meets to discuss and share new techniques and resources.” She adds, under the SIFS programme timely training and capacity building are done that helps improve food security and enhance income.
Giving an example of enhanced livelihood, Devi shared after acquiring knowledge of animal husbandry, she decided to get goats of the Sirohi breed, and currently, she has five of them, and she is getting 10 liters of milk daily, this is enough to fulfill her family needs and her dependency on market has zeroed down. Besides, she shared that she is a proud owner of a nutrition garden, which she developed by the 10-12 varieties of seeds provided by Banswara-based Vaagdhara civil society. After nurturing and taking care of the soil and seeds, now she has grown vegetables of her choice, and at least five varieties of fruits such as papaya, mulberry, mango, guava, and lemon, again she has managed to zero the dependency on the market, making her family self reliant.
So, Devi’s story is the biggest example of how SIFS techniques have started helping families to ensure their nutrition needs and at the same time reduce their dependence on the market.