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.
Agricultural Entrepreneur Helps Women Farmers
Since 2003, when she and 11 other women started a Self-Help Group, Muniya has been inspiring women in farming with her strong determination and contagious enthusiasm for learning, experimenting, and trying new things.
She and her husband, Ramesh, depend mainly on agriculture and allied activities like raising silkworms and livestock to support their family of 8. They own an acre of land, a little over half of which is cultivable. Little by little over the years Muniya has increased her knowledge of farming and nutrition, and along the way she has always shared with other women what she learned.
For the past three years she has been working and engaging with women farmers through the program’s local partner PRADAN. She provides training and crop counseling, assists in crop planning, and connects farmers with inputs suppliers. In this past year, PRADAN encouraged her to transition from her role as Village-Level Trainer to private agricultural entrepreneur. In this new small business, she gives what she calls “hand-holding and support” to 150 women farmers across eight villages. Besides providing information on appropriate farming techniques, she makes sure they know how to access seeds, inputs, and basic veterinary medicines.
Muniya recently built a greenhouse and started a nursery to earn extra income from selling seedlings to her customers. She has already sold 7,500 chili and 2,600 eggplant seedlings, and also supplies rice, bean, and okra.
India Banka Dumka Jamui Program
Led by Lutheran World Relief and Local Partner PRADAN