Vegetable Production Boosts Tribals’ Income

An irrigation well constructed under JTELP

Agriculture is still largely rainfed in Santhal Pargana area of Jharkhand because of lack of proper irrigation. Farmers follow traditional practice of cultivating a single crop, paddy, in small patches of land as water remains available during rainy season only. Rest of the year, their lands remain unproductive. As a result, they suffer from acute poverty as their livelihood gets seriously affected. They often remained cashless and become victims of distress migration.

To address the situation Jharkhand Tribal Empowerment and Livelihoods Programme (JTELP) has adopted cluster

approach of vegetable production and its marketing as one of the prime means of alternative source of income among willing farmers having minimum irrigation facility. Though it will take proper irrigational measure for the coming years, success rate is encouraging in the first year (2018-19). It has potential of boosting income and reducing the out migration.

The project is being implemented with 300 farmers in six different villages of Jamtara district. With proper seed and fertiliser support, coupled with hands on training at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, most of the farmers have tried their hands on small patches of land (average 0.25 acres). They have earned significant sum in the first year itself.

A case in point is Faluni Kisku, a woman farmer covered by the project. She experimented with 0.25 acre land in both kharif (rain) and rabi (winter) crops, raising six kinds of vegetables. She earned a profit of Rs 10,602 in the first year itself.