India West Champaran
$0 needed of $65,016
Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
Climate change increasingly threatens the livelihoods and food security of millions of smallholder farmers in India through more frequent and severe drought and flood cycles. The West Champaran program builds on a highly successful pilot project through which farmers were able to increase yields for rice, wheat and pulses in both drought and flood prone areas. This program uses the Private Service Provider (PSP) approach, which trains and mentors community members to start their own businesses and provide fee-based seed drilling, custom herbicide application, and crop management services to the most vulnerable farmers in stress-prone areas. This approach presents an opportunity to not only expand the reach of climate smart technologies and improved access to inputs, but also places service provision in the hands of the community, creating greater ownership and sustainability.
Program Update: Genda Devi's Story
Women Flourish as Livestock Service Providers
When Saroj first learned about an opportunity to become a livestock private service provider through the program, she thought it would be a great opportunity to improve her family’s circumstances. She already raised goats, and believed she could put her skills and experience to good use.
However, even though Saroj’s husband, a daily wage laborer, was having trouble making ends meet for their family of six, traditional cultural norms prevented him from giving his permission for her new venture. She did not lose hope. When her husband migrated for work outside the state of Bihar, she got permission from her in-laws.
The program sent her to an organization called The Goat Trust to attend training. She was one of their most attentive students. After hours, she interacted with the team to better understand goat management practices. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and she was determined to make the most of it to gain knowledge and hone her skills.
On returning to the village with her goat treatment kit, she offered de-worming, vaccination, castration, health services, and best management practices to all the goat-keeping families. It was tougher than she’d expected. There had never been a livestock service provider in the area, and no one took her seriously. She gradually established her credibility by showing her skill and knowledge and the improvement in the animals she cared for, and more and more people started coming to her for help. She also began preparing goat feed (see photo) and selling it door-to-door for extra income.
Saroj can now afford to send her children to school and meet other essential expenses. She is very happy with her job. Becoming a successful entrepreneur and earning the respect of her husband, family and neighbors has boosted her self-esteem. She says, “The decision to become a livestock service provider was a turning point in my life.” Now she’s working toward her dream of starting her own goat farm.
India West Champaran Program
Led by Catholic Relief Services and Bettiah Diocesan Social Service Society