Organic Farming Brings Life Back On Track

Organic Farming Brings Life Back On Track

“After my daughters got married, we started struggling financially. So much so that my elder son had to discontinue his studies and go to Delhi for work”, says Rajeshwari. She is a 45-year-old farmer who lives in the village of Jangalipurwa in Mitauli Block in District Kheri of Uttar Pradesh. She lives with her husband (who is also a farmer), three sons, a daughter-in-law and two grandsons.

She has seven bigha (units) land, on which she and her husband grow vegetables. They also cultivate wheat, sugarcane, masoor (pulse) and rice. The family began experiencing financial hardship after her daughters got married. Her elder son’s studies came to a halt and her husband was compelled to take up labour work in Delhi for additional income.

Before Oxfam India and Aim Trust started working in the Lakhimpur Kheri district, Rajeshwari and her husband would only use pesticides and chemical fertilisers in their field. They believed that the usage of chemicals on land was their only option and they were not aware of the harmful effects of dangerous chemicals on soil.

In 2018, Aim Trust organised a meeting in Jangalipurwa, in which Rajeshwari participated alongside 10 women. They learned about organic farming techniques that did not damage soil quality. They were taught how to prepare organic manure which helps in the preservation of soil and generates an increase in crop yield.

The participants were taught how to make the Jiva Amrit Solution comprising cow urine, neem leaves, datura (white thorn-apple), madar, gaanja (cannabis), castor, papaya and a wild grass known as ghusiyari. Soonafter, Rajeshwari resumed her vegetable farming by using organic pesticides (the Jiva Amrit solution).

However, she needed help to accomplish this. She called her husband back from the city. They also took up the mixed cropping system where they grew maize alongside vegetables. The organic farming techniques proved fruitful for them and their income increased. As a result, Rajeshwari was able to call her son back home.

Things are looking up for Rajeshwari now. She says, “My son has resumed his studies. He has been re-enrolled in the 12th standard. I am very happy with the support provided by Aim Trust and Oxfam India”.

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