India Banka Dumka Jamui
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Lutheran World Relief (LWR)
The Women and Food Security Project is being implemented in three districts (Jamui, Banka, and Dumka) in the Bihar and Jharkhand states of India. The project is addressing the food and nutrition security needs of smallholder families. It works with women farmers as direct project participants, building their capacity in improved and sustainable agriculture practices, livestock care and management, diversified farming, access to agriculture extension services and markets, and improved decision making in regard to crop and food choices to address household nutrition needs. The project addresses the nutritional needs of women and children through improved yields of current crops and also promotes crop diversification. It enables women farmers to earn additional income to meet household needs and to make reinvestments in agriculture as a sustainable livelihood option. Participating households are learning about the importance of diversified diets and their impact on the health of women, children, and infants.
Agriculture and Entrepreneurship
Agriculture is the traditional and ancestral occupation of Doman’s family. He loves to share his farming expertise and experience with people, to experiment with new ideas in agriculture, and he tends to take risks. But it was hard to make a good living until he started his nursery business.
Doman met some nursery growers and learned about their operations. He showed interest when local partner PRADAN offered training in nursery entrepreneurship. He decided to invest in protective netting, fungicide and cauliflower seed to start his own nursery, and followed improved growing practices.
Like anyone else, Doman had some angst about investing in a nursery business. He wasn’t sure if villagers would buy seedlings from him or not, or whether he would be able to keep up with all the work required for success in the harsh and unpredictable climate. Nevertheless, he used his optimism and creativity to create a demand for his seedlings. Good relationships with other villagers allowed him to convince more people to grow and sell cauliflower. He offered to assess their needs based on the size of their families and other factors. He carefully planned when to plant so they would have their seedlings in time to produce cauliflower for sale at the optimal time.
Doman’s nursery was soon greening up with 20,000 cauliflower sprouts. He captured market share through the use of a social media platform called WhatsApp, taking photos of his nursery and showing them to his prospective customers to convince them that he was growing good quality plants. He offered door to door delivery, and ended up selling all 20,000 seedlings in 20 days.
Even though he grows a wide variety of other vegetables for food and income, he earns three times as much from his nursery business. He’s expanded to include onion and watermelon seedlings, and his nursery business continues to grow and prosper. He now firmly believes that agriculture is a good way to earn money, and that offering quality products is the key to success.
India Banka Dumka Jamui Program
Led by Lutheran World Relief and Local Partner PRADAN