This is a story of a very strong willed Neema Sati. Her story starts about 5 years back when she put her children to bed on an empty stomach with promise of a better and a belly filled tomorrow. Neema Satis husband was an alcoholic, which had plunged them in poverty and hardship over the period of two years. When we spoke to her she recalled how her family was happy even though they just got by a few years back until one day when her husband got pulled into the local brewery and everything changed for them.
They had about 4 acres of land in Kyari village. Her husband was hardworking and ambitious. They were planning on investing in a tractor post the next produce. Things were unfortunately not meant to be. Her husband, Murari, got side-streamed and things went south from there on. Murari would come home drunk and beat Neema Sati and her children. He started selling off or mortgaging his possession in order to satisfy his needs. He slowly sold of many household things and 2 acres of land. When Murari disposed of his land Neema knew they were doomed if nothing was done soon. She saw how her sons were going hungry and were beaten up if they asked their father for food. The day Murari sold of a part of the land and her children slept without even a glass of water Neeme knew she had to take matters in her own hands to survive. She had to be bold for her children and herself.
During one of the trips with her husband she had seen NBF office of which she had heard good reviews. She decided to approach us. We heard her and knew that they were running out of time and something had to be done soon. We went with her to see the land and were happy to see that it was a healthy piece of land. We explained about the requisites mandatory at NBF.
We trained Neema on the SRI technology and highlighted the importance of the same. We emphasized on how the produce had to be sans any chemical fertilizer or pesticides.Nature Bio-Foods Limited has been training the farmers continuously about SRI technology. It is our endeavor to keep encouraging the farmers to adopt SRI System. Since the seeds are singularly planted, they tend to grow better, so that results in healthier plants capable of producing more grains with a promise of a better produce. Over a period of time she experienced many benefits, including SRI crops being more resistant to pests which in turn increased productivity. She like other farmers started to respect this technology not just because of the handsome returns she got but because of the purity of product that she was delivering and consuming. It has been estimated that cultivation of Dehraduni Basmati with SRI produces around 10-20 %more than conventional rice crops per yield. This has resolved many issues in plain sight as well on the hind for both the farmers as well as the consumers and NBF is reaching out to resolving many issues as it goes.
Its been a little over three years since she has been associated with the NBF and it has been nothing but an elevation from what she was leading earlier. The SRI technology requires the saplings or seeds to be planted at wider spacing (25 cm x 25 cm) and it has been observed the outcome to be 30-35 tillers per hill, whereas with the conventional method, one achieves 7-8 tillers per hill. Neema was truly inspired to find the SRI method reduces the time required for grain maturation. She has been continuously getting good results from using the technology. She finds it less labor intensive, it is time efficient and it saves on water, over all quite beneficial. She now understands that the food she is producing is a lot more healthier. The same produce is used personally also which gives them the satisfaction that their consumption is healthier.
Neema is yielding quality rice with organic farming practices. The use of chemical pesticides is prohibited in the organic farming so she has been using cow dung as manure. The taste of the end product is good and isn’t compromising with health. SRI method of cultivation produces higher yields with less seed and less water. Which has proved beneficial for Neema like other farmers.
Neema was so happy with where she was headed that she spread the word around and started educating more and more people in and around her village. Her husband would be shunned if he ever bullied his family again by the villagers. Eventully he stopped harassing the family and tried to mend his ways. NBF supported Neema and looked for professional help for her husband.
Cultivation Is a strenuous process so all the help is required that one possibly can get. So, now the entire village helps each other including Neemas family members. During sowing & harvesting they go to each others farm to work on. They all are very happy and relieved with what they are yeilding.
The next round of challenge that Neema faced was taking the produce to the market. NBF assured her that it provides doorstep support in collection & transportation of the produce, which saves the transportation cost as well as time. Taking the crop to sell is a big challenge requiring a whole day unsure of the outcome, where as the farmers with NBF are getting fair market price at their doorstep. Thus encouraging Neema further.
So, the Kyari village thanks Neema Devi for bringing about a change not just for herself but for everyone. She stood up to ensure her kids get food to eat and basic amenities and landed up embracing something new and progressive. She is a happy mother and a farmer, bringing the best not to just her children but also to other children.