Organic Farming in Drought-Prone Bori Sinh
In 2015, Asia Initiative collaborated with Deen Dayal Trust, which supports education in slums in India, and Save Indian Farmers, which focuses on improving the lives of farmers, widows and their families, to enact self-sustainable change in the lives of 30 farmers and their families in the village of Bori Sinh. The villagers were committed to AI’s SoCCs program, which promotes participation in various social initiatives such as children’s malnutrition education, cleaning common areas, women’s health clinics, vocational training seminars, and daily after-school programs for youth, among others.
The SoCCs earned from such participation were redeemed for 25% of the value of a buffalo, which the farmers utilize for the development of small milk businesses. This entrepreneurship provides families with a dependable, non-farming income. As this region experiences unpredictable seasons of monsoon and drought, the project also empowers villagers to build check dams on the local canal to guarantee a year-round water supply. This serves as a sustainable improvement due to the resulting rise of water tables in the surrounding area, as well as the ability of farmers to harvest additional crops from the same land.
The check dams that were started last year have now been completed for rain water harvesting and crop production. The project is now entering the next follow up phase to continue working with the villagers using SoCCs.
(Updated in May 2016) 6 women from our Borisinh village project have saved Rs. 15,000 each and are planning to start their small business. One alternative is to start a mini dal mill business. Indian Buffalo grant for 20 farmers (as of April 2016) has substantially increased their nonfarm monthly incomes. A women’s health checkup camp was organized and conducted in BoriSinh village in coordination with our local partner Deen Dayal Trust, performing medical checkups for over 90 women.