Collective action in agriculture

Imam Patti in Pratapganj Block in Supaul district is one of the least developed village belongs to Manhji community of Mahadalits. Majority of the people are very poor and vulnerable to climate changes and flood. They are mainly depend on agriculture related livelihood. Even they don’t own land, they do agriculture in lease land.

When the Resilience initiatives started in this village by BALSK, Jai Bhavani SHG which is strong have taken the lead in mobilizing community in finding a way to reduce the risk. When the groups received Community Resilience Fund (CRF) Rs 8000 from BALSK in 2015, according to their plan, each members invested Rs 800 each to to do collective agriculture. The total investment in the agriculture was 11200. They have decided to do vegetable and pulses as main crops. In the beginning there were only 4 women who started in 5 khatta land on lease. They have cultivated Maize to get some good income. After seeing the success and additional income from the agriculture, other members were also joined.

Gunjan Devi the group leader encouraged others to contribute money and labour share for this collective cultivation. In the 2nd time, they have cultivated Coli flower, bindi, patwa and sag. The profit from the 2nd cultivation was Rs 3000. They want to take some more land on lease and cultivate Dhaincha, Jute, and early crops that yield good result and use for firewood and fodder.

Form the profit of the cultivation, Gunjan Devi purchased a new tailoring machine and started tailoring along with the agriculture and group activities. This was a big change in her life. The groups are consuming the local food by cultivating more vegetables. “We are reducing the health expense by eating good food. Our expense has come down below 2000 a year,” Says Gunjan Devi. This initiative has reduced the dependency on outside market purchase and consumed locally grown good food.


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