Farmers and consumers harvesting jowar at Arjun Naik Tanka in Sangareddy district on Sunday.
A novel initiative of bringing farmers and consumers together turns out to be a win-win deal
Chandi Bai, a 50-year-old farmer, had a memorable day on Sunday at Arjun Naik Tanka in Hoti B mandal when several consumers, who have invested in her farm, participated in a harvesting ceremony.
She welcomed the visitors with sweets that she had made, lit a lamp and offered prayers and food to Kallem, the place where crop would be harvested, and began the harvesting process along with the consumers.
An iron pole was placed in the middle of Kallem that was decorated with the branches of jowar crop. Two pairs of bullocks were tied to the pole, which made rounds on the jowar branches spread on the ground, making the yield ready for distribution.
This is the second phase of the initiative jointly taken up by Deccan Development Society (DDS) and Disha Consumer Movement bringing together farmers and consumers.
While farmers get an input assistance of ₹5,000 per acre, the consumers get the farm yield. About four months ago, these farmers received ₹5,000 each per acre.
Some of them received the second phase of input assistance of another ₹5,000 on Sunday at a programme held at Pastapur.
“Earlier, we used to take loan from others for labour and Penda Eruvu (organic fertilizer). If we do not have sufficient quantity of fertilizer, we had to buy it from others. This expenditure was met from the investment made by consumers,” Ms. Bai told The Hindu.
She has harvested multiple crops like Jowar, foxtail millet, and varieties of other millets.
In this village alone, about 58 farmers are part of this initiative in about 60 acres. A similar initiative was taken up at Lachhu Naik Tanda as well.
“There is no rain for a month and we are worried, but we have not lost confidence,” said Chakri Bai, another farmer from the tanda.
“For me, this is a completely new experience. I am harvesting the crop for the first time,” said Neelam, cutting a bunch of Jowar with a sickle.
“This was a roller-coaster ride for us. Woman farmers like Chandi Bai and Chakri Bai stood with us with confidence even when there were sleepless nights as there was no rain. Finally, their confidence has won and now the yield is before you,” said DDS director P.V. Satheesh, pointing at the harvest.
He appreciated the moral, ethical and financial support extended by the members of consumer movement as well.
D.S.N. Raju of Disha Consumer Movement said working with women farmers was a novel experience for them.
The yield was handed over to consumers in a programme called ‘Sharing The Harvest And Sharing The Vision’ organised at DDS office at Pastapur.
First published by The Hindu on Oct. 22, 2018