30 Jan
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Foxtail wagged after a long span

Dhooli Bai is a forest dweller belonging to Meena tribe. Residing in Van village of Salumber block of Udaipur her
family members consists of 2 adults and 3 children. Family’s sources of income depend mainly on agriculture which
contributes INR 44100 annually to the total income of INR 70100.

Project objective: The project titled “Improving Food Security through Sustainable Agricultural Practices and Strengthening Local Biodiversity Management”, being implemented by Prayatna Samiti with the support of Kehitysmaayhdistys Pääskyt and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland, addresses vulnerable ecosystem by fostering minor millets and vegetable cultivation with the set of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and good governance for better management of natural resources in 10 villages.

Issued address: Lack of food security due to lack of natural resources such as seeds of minor millets and land and skills of cultivation. Setting up of Seed Banks will ensure the supply of seeds in the home. In this way, the minor millets will be promoted through cultivation in the field. Thus, food security will satisfy the need of nutritious grains. incomes.

Beneficiary interest and approach: Dhooli Bai became interested in the cultivation of minor millets as the importance of millets to human beings and cultivation practices explained to her by Prayatna Samiti. It was 25 years back that she used to cultivate the foxtail millets but all of a sudden the practice of traditional agriculture got diminished. The blame may be given to economy-driven agriculture which preferred monocropping and use of chemical fertilizers. She wanted to revive the traditional agriculture through the reintroduction of minor millets and practices associated with them. This will help her to maintain the seed supply and enjoy the grains’ dishes with her family.

The process: Dhooli Bai came to know the project’s objective through the SHG named Dholagiri Sayam Sahayata Samuha consisting of 15 members. In the meetings, she was oriented on minor millets cultivations. A training was organised by Prayatna Samiti on “Minor Millets and Vegetable Cultivation Training” at Udaipur during which she interacted with experts and familiarized with importance and sowing technique of foxtail millet. Due to lack of time and looming rains she preferred the broadcasting method of sowing. She utilized 0.1 acres of irrigated crop cultivated to reintroduce traditional agriculture. Heavy downpour in the area resulted in a set back to the farming measures. A loss of 2.5 kg was observed in the yield. Rains washed the seeds away which was coupled with soil erosion. It took 45 days from 1st July 2017 to get the first harvest. She harvested 4 kg grains from 0.5 kg of sown seeds. Spike length extending to 12 cm pleased her as she revived traditional agriculture. The grain was consumed by the family members. Chapatis were prepared and the taste was appreciated by the family members. 0.5 kg of the harvest was added to the existing seeds in the traditional earthen pot. In this way, the seed supply of nutritious grain was maintained in the home.

Good Agricultural Practices and learning: Maintenance of seed bank, minor millet cultivation, and utilization of irrigated area. To get desired production Dhooli Bai prepared to sow the seeds after wheat harvest in April.

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