Eco-Friendly Farming Pioneer – Sheela Devi

Shila Devi lives in Godiyari village in Darbhanga district. The village is a severe flood prone area and affect their livelihoods and agriculture. When KSA entered in this village in 2013 with facilitation from SSP, Sheela Devi was the leader who mobilized community in resilience building initiatives. She was doing small kind of farming with low inputs.

She was selected to provide training on preparing bio compost she never thought that will make changes in her life and environment. She got training on making bio compost using local materials called Kanchan Amrit from Lucknow. She has learnt how to prepare bio-compost using local leaves which has power in controlling pests in natural way. When she started the bio pesticides in her home after training, the result was very encouraging as the pest attack was reduced and the yield was increased. This has motivated her to prepare larger quantities of Kanchan Amrit and started selling to neighbouring villages and communities apart from using in her own land. Shila Devi has four cows and one acre of agricultural land cultivate mustard, wheat, onion and vegetables. She own 5 Bhiga land for cultivation. Sheela Devi use only vermin compost for her agriculture.

This bio-pesticide is the best alternative to chemical pesticides buy from the market which is costly, damage crops and environment and affect our health. I save around Rs 15000 per year from fertiliser and bio pesticides.” – Sheela Devi

She is recognised as innovative leader in the panchayat. About 1000 women visited her village and learned her practices. She is visiting other villages and share her experience in of agriculture practices using organic methods and income. There are 10 such women leaders who are making Kanchan Amrit in her Panchayat. All of them are groomed and developed by by Sheela Devi. As a leader of Ahalya Mahila Mandal (Self Help Group), Shila Devi has been encouraging community to take small steps to address issues relating to the impact of climate change and floods.

The production cost of the bio-pesticide is Rs. 10/- per litre but Shila Devi is able to sell it for Rs. 30. In six months, she has been able to purchase one buffalo mainly in order to use its urine to meet growing demand for the pesticide. She earns Rs. 1000/- per month by selling bio-pesticide and Rs. 6500/- per season from vegetable sales.

Changes: Reduced illness after consuming good food, increased the production and income.

She is saving Rs 10000 per year from fertilizer expense. She says “We are eating good food, treating earth and environment as our mother while not harming our land we are protected.”

“You can watch other land and see the difference. See the colour, healthy crops in my land. You feel it. This is why I encouraged and do more work and experiments in agriculture. She is cultivating Maize, potato, matter in 15 khatta of land.

Sheela Devi is the leader of Gram Vikas Mahila Mandal, women federation formed 2 years ago to mobilise community in sustainable agriculture.

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