“Pehli baar hum sab milkar sabzi kheti se itna kamaye hai, ek sath gothan me sabzi kheti karne ke baad hume unnat tarike se sabzi kheti ke fayde samaj aaye hai, hume to lagta tha ki hum sabzi ki kheti kar hi nahi payenge”
(Earlier we used to think that vegetable cultivation is too risky and we will not able to gain profit, but for the first time, we have earned a lot from vegetable sale. Our experience from collective farming in Gothan helped us to understand the benefits of vegetable cultivation using modern techniques.) – Mathura, Shriguhan
This year members of Tulsi and Laksmi SHG earned 3 lakh rupees from vegetable cultivation in Gothan and are expecting 2 lakh rupees from further sales. Tulsi and Lakshmi SHG of Shriguhan village of Narharpur block of Chhattisgarh was formed in 2009-2010 by PRADAN, a civil society organization working in the region. Since then, these SHGs have been groomed around financial inclusion, women participation, representation, and ownership in decision making, modern techniques and best practices in agriculture (paddy, pulses, vegetable), land and water management, rights and entitlement under MGNREGA, and so on.
In the year 2019, Gothan construction has been planned in 5 acres under NGGB and was included in the detailed project report under Mega Watershed Project. NGGB – Narwa, Garwa, Ghurwa, and Badi is the State’s aspirational and priority project of the State Government of Chhattisgarh which focuses on river rejuvenation, cattle, organic manure, and kitchen garden to conserve natural resources so as to boost the rural economy. Gothan is made for gathering all the cattle of a village in a single place to provide them food, water, shelter, and health facilities.
In 2019, Gothan construction in Shriguhan was completed, and looking at the ownership, interest, and efforts of villagers, community institutions, and panchayat body, Shriguhan Gothan was declared as one of the model Gothan in the district.
With facilitation by PRADAN, panchayat, and SRLM, Tulsi and Lakshmi SHG decided to go for vegetable cultivation in the Gothan in 2 and 1 acre of land respectively. Detailed plan and package of practices were made for each crop and SHGs were provided handholding support in ensuring the PoP with the support of PRADAN. Field level training was provided around the trellis system of vegetable cultivation, drip irrigation, disease, and pest management, organic fertilizer and pesticide preparation shed net nursery preparation, and so on. A variety of crops were selected such as tomato, ladyfinger, creepers like cowpea, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, tubers like turmeric, Jimi Kanda, etc. Both the groups were included in APC (Agriculture Production Cluster) in 25 decimals of land inside the Gothan boundary. This year PRADAN has reached out to 1300 families under the APC model in which tomato has opted as the winner crop.
Both the SHGs invested from interest against lending from their group savings. They invested 1,50,000 Rupees for seed procurement, trellis wire, land lease, drip installation, labour, pesticide, and fertilizer, etc. for cropping for rabi crop for last year and Kharif crop for this year. And in the first experience, they were been able to earn 3 lakhs rupees till date and there is more produce to sell. They have sold their produce to the middleman and also directly in Charama and Lakhnapuri market which the big markets are nearby. This experience has boosted the confidence of SHG members around vegetable cultivation for which earlier they were very apprehensive.
Now vegetable from Shriguhan Gothan has become a model for nearby villages as to how income can be generated using resources available in the local region. The only thing needed is – push, hope, hard work, and little support.