Adi Burudi: A President, Farmer and An Inspiration

Adi Burudi: A President, Farmer and An Inspiration

Once a mono cropper and earning about Rs 20000 annually until a year ago, Adi Burudi now has expanded her scope and avenues of farming and making profits of nearly Rs 35000. The turning point for the 32-year-old was the Oxfam India-SDMC Trust project, through which, among other things, she came to know about multi-cropping system and market driven crop calendar, and that the prices of all vegetables, mainly, cauliflower and chilly are highest during rainy season. This was something she held on to and changed her farming methods.

The women farmer led livelihoods project was launched in 40 villages of Semiliguda and Pottangi blocks in 2020. Sanaphatu is also one of the project village.


Adi Burudi lives in Sanaphatu village with her husband Hari Burudi and three children (a daughter and two sons). Sanaphatu is a small village of 100 households in Pukali Gram Panchayat of Pottangi block in Koraput district in Odisha. Farming is their only source of income; they own less than half an acre land. Though she can barely sign her name her eagerness to learn and imbibe has helped her improve her life.

The village has all the problems one comes across in tribal villages—lack of adequate sources of safe drinking water and irrigation facilities. The latter restricted them to grow rainfed crops only. Besides, small land holding and under developed agriculture practices adversely affected the farmers’ income. Lack of finance was a major obstacle for families like Adi’s which meant they could barely improve their farming practices.

Due to her limited knowledge of farming, Adi ended up spending a lot on inputs. Production was not as desired. But what was worse was the exploitation and cheating by middlemen. She used to grow ginger and one or two other vegetables in her 40 cent land with unassured returns. But she persevered in farming and that eventually paid off, with a little help. 


Adi is the President of Maa Sarala Women Self Help Group. While the SHG works well, its functions are limited to micro finance and hardly any work on agriculture development. As a strategy to work with the poor small and marginal farmers’ families, a Women Farmers Producer Group (WFPG) was formed in the village. The WFPG—Jagannath Mahila Utpadaka Dal was formed with 36 members. Because of her interest, involvement and concern for fellow farmers, Adi was elected as the President of the group.

The WFPG and SHGs members along with other PRI members advocated for and influenced block-level officials to instal a new Lift Irrigation (LI) point in the village. Meanwhile, Adi continued to participate in trainings organised under the project. She learnt about the preparation and use of different organic manures like Jeevamritam, Neemastra and Handi Khata. She also learnt how to raise a nursery using few seeds, plant population management in the main land, mixed cropping system and companion crops as improved agricultural practices.

Adi received seeds through the project so that she could upscale her farming. She also took a loan of INR 30,000 from her group which they mobilised through bank linkages. She was also put in touch with NABARD, who keeping her interest and capacity in mind, supported her for making vermicompost and other bio-inputs for applying in her vegetable field.


In the past she would barely get Rs 20,000 from ginger and vegetable cultivation. She followed mono cropping system that restricted her income far below the potential. Through the Oxfam India-SDMC Trust project, she learnt about multi-cropping, market-driven crop calendar and the fact that prices of all vegetables, mainly, cauliflower and chilly are highest during rainy season.

This season, she grew cauliflower, chilly and radish along with ginger on her 0.4 acre land. A confident Adi started cultivating land of the big farmers under share cropping system—50:50 sharing where all expenses will be met by Adi’s family—in the LI point irrigated area. She grew cauliflower, cabbage and chilly in Rabi season as a share cropper. Earlier she was limited to growing vegetables only in the Kharif season.

crop break up

She estimated her net income at about Rs 35,000 after deducting all expenses which is about Rs 15,000 more than the previous years. It will increase further when she finally harvests ginger and other vegetables. She feels that the change is due to improved agricultural practices, market driven crop planning and the Market Facilitation Centre (MFC) (to ensure fair marketing (digital and correct weighing) without exploitation or cheating). She cites example of sweet potato which she could sell at Rs 3000 per quintal this year as compared to Rs 1000 last year. She transplanted the vines early and harvested the crop early and this is what made a difference this year. Her efforts have started influencing other farmers nearby.

With this income Adi and her husband were able to meet the education expenses; the daughter joined an ITI course, the elder son is in college while the younger one is in high school. 

Adi is the embodiment of the saying "Where there is will, there is way".  Though she had no money and no advanced technologies she succeeded by getting support from various sources. Now she is interested to do the same vegetable cultivation and spread the same to others. She feels more confident to engage herself and family in more vegetable and ginger cultivation as well as provide support to other women farmers to enhance their decision making and participation in farming. 

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