Sometimes, the smallest assistance can lead to the biggest changes. One only has to ask Mr Biakkunga fromZotuitlang, Lunglei district, Mizoram or Ms Kekhenyi-u from Chizami village in Phek district, Nagaland.
Mr Baikkunga owns 3 acres of land and his banana cropis flourishing beyond his expectation, this year. The crop is expected to bring an additional income of approximately Rs20,000, with growth in the years to come.
He attributes much of the success to an intervention by the North East Initiative Development Agency (NEIDA), an associate organisation of the Tata Trusts, set up with the object of driving the North East Initiative to address the development issues of communities in the north eastern states of Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. NEIDA collaborated with NABARD for the Tribal Development Fund (TDF) Project and supplied 100 banana suckers, 100 orange budded, Nitrogen fixing tree seeds, to add to the income of the farmers. Baikkunga, along with other farmers of the TDF project area were imparted technical knowledge on plant protection measures and agriculture soil practices by teams from NEIDA.
Ms Kekhenyi-u harbours a similar view with respect to NEIDA’s piggery intervention which benefitted farmers like her. Although a traditional choice for those with no formal education, initially, backyard pig farming did not provide much income. Consequently, supporting her family with the meagre income was becoming difficult.
However, through NEIDA and its field partner, Chakhesang Women Welfare Society, Kekhenyi-u received training on the important aspects of pig rearing like balanced diet, construction and management of a proper pig sty, along with budgeting for the same, maintaining hygiene, etc.
These were practiced by Kekhenyi-u and in just a matterof 10 months, results were visible. Her first fattened pig, now weighed 140 Kgs instead of the 80Kgs she was accustomed to and she earned Rs30,800/- for it.
Delighted, she explains, “Feed management, disease prevention practices and measures such as de-worming, vaccination, providing fresh water and bathing the pigs regularly were some of the new practices I learnt as a part of this programme and practiced them. It made a difference to my income.”
Both Ms Kekhenyi-u and Mr Baikkunga are now looking forward to a steady increase in productivity and income with the improved practices in their fields of livelihood.
This story has been taken from the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Allied Trusts Annual Report 2019-20