Shiladevi – organic farmer, leader, entrepreneur!

Meet Shiladevi, a Pioneer in Organic Farming
Godiyari village in Darbhanga district, Bihar is badly affected by flood every year. It lies on the river Bagmati and community face lot of problems in flood. Unexpected weather conditions have doubled their problems due to decreased income from agriculture and the investment is very high due to cost in chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

Shiladevi is a mercurial WOMEN LEADER who motivates flood and climate affected communities to practice adaptive agriculture initiatives and livelihoods. Shiladevi make bio pesticides (called as Madka Rasayan by local community) and bio compost and practice organic farming in 1 acre land. Apart from using in her field, she also sells these bio pesticides and compost locally and earns extra income. In a recent meeting at Maulaganj with Gram Vikas Maha Sangh, Shiladevi said “even making small changes in our life can be a reason for big changes in the community."

To address these problems, Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) facilitated the process with local NGO, Kanchan Seva Ashram, to introduce innovative agriculture practices with disaster and climate affected vulnerable communities. After experimenting of the Madka Rasayan in her agriculture field, she saw the difference in production of vegetables and pulses and health and taste aspects of the crop. Using own bio pesticides and compost reduces the cost as well as protects the environment. SSP provided support for trainings and learning visits through Community Resilience Fund (CRF).

She travels to other villages and teach communities in preparing bio pesticides using local leaves and materials. More than 500 women members have learned from her practices while visiting her village and seeing her work so far. She is now recognized as a women farmer leader in her area and an active member of Gram Vikas Maha Sangh.

When she started using the bio compost, neighbours started enquiring about the ‘new medicine’. Shiladevi shared her follow community on how to make bio compost. When the response from the field was very positive as it reduced the pest attack and increased the quality of the crop encouraged her to prepare the pesticide in more quantity to sell outside.

She says, “This bio pesticide is the best alternative to chemical pesticides buy from market that is costly, damage crops, environment and affect our health.”

Now Shiladevi is selling the bio pesticide for RS.30/- per kg. She earn Rs.3000/- per month by selling bio pesticide and additional earning of Rs. 6500 per season by selling good quality vegetables. Around 40% of the farmers in the village are using this pesticide to control enemy pests. She also teaches other villages and developed 11 women who are making bio pesticides and using in their field as well as selling to others.
– Family income level increased by selling bio pesticides
– Quality are assured in eco friendly farming practices using bio pesticides and vermin compost
– 11 new women members joined in this initiative
– Soil fertility and crop health has increased by using eco-friendly farming practices
How to make the bio-pesticide: Neem leaf (Azadirachtaindica) – 1 kg, Green Chilli – 200 gm, Jaggery – 100 gm, Rejected dry tobacco leaves – 500, Akaun leaf – 1 kg, Cow urine – 10 litre, Gur 150 gm, 10 litre cow urine. (Mix this ingredient in 10 litre cow urine and keep it for 20 days and use it). Production cost for 1kg is approx Rs. 10/- only.

Shiladevi's success is enabled by organisations like Swayam Shikshan Prayog. Veterun, raise money for Swayam Shikshan Prayog India and help them reach more women like Shiladevi!

Story and image courtesy of Swayam Shikshan Prayog

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