When I joined AKRSP (I), I started with NABARD SRI Project and now it is very close to my heart. I never thought that small interventions in agriculture can bring visible impact on farmers life as now we all are witness. Actually in my daily work I never thought what impact our small team has made by introducing SRI here for paddy cultivation but this time when I was with few visitors specially one from NABARD, I felt that yes we are change makers. NABARD visit was postponed 2-3 times in past but this time for one day Swati ji, Assistant Manager from NABARD visited and meet with number of farmers, especially women who have done SRI in last year and get benefit of it. On 28th she reached here in Dangs at evening time.
We decided to visit first half in Dangs and second half in Vansada to meet with farmers. On date 29th first we have visited in Piplaidevi, one of our working village and their we met with Chamar bhai. He has done SRI last year in only 12 Ghunta ( 1acre land =4o Ghunta) and got significant production. He shared that he could get only 200 Kg till last year in the same land but after Adopting SRI practices he could get up to 600 Kg. This year he has done SRI in more than 1 acre land also rejected ADAR practice by adopting raise bed nursery method. One thing he shared proudly that in his life time he has never sold paddy but last year first time he sold paddy worth of 9000 Rs. By observing him other farmers like Lahasu bhai also adopted SRI. We visited in his plot also as he was very enthusiastic to show his plot.
After visiting their, we came to Bhavandagad village and here we meet with another female farmer Jaya Ben. She also did SRI last year and against all his family members, she accepted it in half acre land. This year also she has done Sri in all her plots and her family members helped other farmers also to learn about it. Swati ji asked certain questions like impact of SRI. She shared that initially they did ADAR practice (Adar is a common practice in tribal area in which they collect leaves, wood, dung, and plant residual to burn in main land and than they use that land for seed sowing. it is a labour intensive practice and cause for environmental degradation.) but now it is totally vanished and she accepted raise bed nursery what we trained them. Seed what they purchased last year 14 Kg this year it was only 4 Kg this year (one kag seed rate is average 250 Rs). labour for Adar and weeding has also reduced significantly. In Bhavandagad village were last time only 6 farmers did SRI, this year number has increased up to 23.
Third farmer we visited in Chikatiya; Swati ji were keen to meet with new farmer also as she was interested to know that how farmers reacted first time about SRI. Mendi Ben did SRI first time and she shared initially when she transplanted of only 12 days but once they transplanted, after 6-7 days they were surprised to see the plant growth. Now her plot is a model plot in the village and very frequently people visits her plot to see it. ATMA has also organized 2-3 visits in her plot.
The last village in Dangs was Nadagkhadi where we met with SHG members and other male farmers who have done SRI in last year. During Focused Group Discussion farmers shared their experiences and personally three most significant changes I could see was acceptance of raise bed nursery, significant reduction in seed amount purchase for paddy, and double production.
After lunch we have visited in Vansada block and their we visited in Holipada village. Their we met with Ishwar Bhai, he is our resource farmer in 3 villages. He himself done SRI in three plots; in that plot last year 18 farmers have done SRI but this year 32 farmers has adopted it. Here we met with three farmers and all shared their last year experiences.
Like all these farmers I personally meet with number of farmers in my daily field visit who did SRI last year and keen to share their experiences with us. the number are also can prove that; last year only 680 farmers has done SRI and against them this year more than 1700 farmers adopted it. Next year hope this figure will go beyond 3000.
This is one of the change what we are trying to bring in our working area so farmers will think beyond food security. in coming days few more targets we have to chase- elimination of ADAR practice, again revive the local paddy seed and cultivate it through SRI practices, and use of SRI practices in other crops. Our team knows that it is a time taken process and we have to do hard work for that but as Sonia Ji said in parliament with reference of Right of FOOD- it is not a question that we should do it or not, it has to done for our farmers.