Friday, 17 July 2015

EMERGING - WOMAN MODEL FARMER

Mrs. Runu Murmu, has emerged as one of a woman lead farmer in Panjan village in Titabor Block under Jorhat district of Assam. She is 35 years of age and her husband is a private school teacher who is the main bread earner for the family. They have been blessed with four children two sons and two daughters. Her early married life was confined to household chores with a small kitchen gardening. In the initial stage of her kitchen gardening, she was using chemical fertilizer and pesticide extensively to get more and rapid productivity for the family’s self consumption in a small area of about 1 bigha.

Runu in Her Farm
However, after attending numbers of training programs organized by Seva Kendra Dibrugarh (SKD) and farmer’s club meetings, her interest on organic farming, integrated pest management and her own traditional knowledge have increased. It is since their children have also grown up and started going to school. Her husband being a private school teacher found very difficult with little salary to maintain both the family and for the education of their children. This led her to start agriculture as part of earning and supporting for the family.

Runu in Her Farm
Now she gave up all the uses of chemicals and pesticides in her garden since 2014. She is using only cow dung and other natural composed to manure the plants.  She planted seasonal vegetables like jika, cucumber, ladies finger, ginger, rice gourd, bitter gourd, beans, pumpkin etc. Today she is practicing multiple and seasonal cropping in her small land of about 1 Bigha. Currently beside her self consumption, she sells her organic products weekly. She has created link with many shopkeepers with whom she sells her bulk products at wholesale rate and averagely earns around Rs. 10000 per month seasonally. With this income, she is supporting the family expenses and for the education of their children. Good production has also increased her interest and passion for agriculture that she has added another plot of land close to her land for further cultivation. Today she has inspired many farmers in promoting organic farming. 

Runu Showing her Farm to Caritas India Officials
The officials from Caritas India have also visited her vegetable farm and witnessed her garden. They have immensely praised and appreciated her agricultural works. They also advised her to motivate other farmers especially to women farmers. Thus she has become a woman lead farmer in the village. She said, “Organic products saistho karone bhaal aru income barhe, aamak aji aidor e keti kora ussith-saistho aru poribhekh karone,” meaning organic products are good for health & environment & raises income, today we must cultivare in this way for better health & environment.  She also sincerely thanks to Seva Kendra Dibrugarh (SKD) for their support, guidance and appreciation.



Contributed by: Cornelius Minj, SKD, Dibrugarh, Assam
Edited By: S.L. Peter, Caritas  India, Guwahati

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