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Knowledge is power – Dhobola Barman, Udiyoman SHG

I have known SeSTA for a year now. I am a member of Udiyoman SHG. I have learned many things because of the training they provided to me. I am trained in SRI method of paddy cultivation, mustard cultivation, nursery plantation, SHG procedures, goat rearing and finally how to work collectively as an SHG. From so much knowledge that has been transferred to me by them, even if I grasp a little, to begin with, my life will change for better. And this is exactly what I have been doing”, says Dhobola Barman of Birpara village in Boitamari Block.

I am staying with my family comprising of 2 sons, daughters-in-law and 2 grandchildren. My husband passed away in 2001. Both of my sons are working in private companies. I am engaged with most of the activities promoted by SeSTA in our village. I have a total of 15 bighas of land, of which 11.5 bighas is agricultural land. In 7 bighas of land, I have been cultivating mustard crop for many years by using the conventional method. In this year, we have opted for cultivating mustard crop using line sowing method after getting technical inputs from SeSTA. I got a good yield from the improved line sowing practices and planning to do it for more areas in the next season. I have also learned how to maintain the productivity of my land. This is the reason I started using only organic fertilizer for mustard cultivation and I am also trying to use minimal chemical fertilizer on my balance land. Although the yield is not up to the mark I believe that it will take time for the soil to repair as the quality of soil has been already degraded with extensive use of chemical fertilizer.

I am also involved in horticulture with betel nut and betel leaf plantations. I have also prepared a vermi bed and already sold 50 kg compost produced from it. It has been a good alternative source of income for me as well as an additional avenue for our land utilization. Apart from these activities, I am also involved with improved goat rearing practices promoted by SeSTA. I have been rearing and selling goats for the past 10 years, but we hardly gain any profit due to mortality by disease attack. Last year only I lost 5 goats due to disease attack. So, when SeSTA approached us with improved goat rearing practices; I took interest and started adopting it. SeSTA once took me to Bamungaon village of Sidli block for an exposure trip where we saw many crossbred goats as well as improved rearing practices. In (our) Khurujmukhi VO also, SeSTA gave us a male Punjab Beetal goat. The idea was to replicate the model that had worked in Bamungaon. Till the time this goat becomes mature and ready for mating, somebody had to take care of it. As nobody came forward, I kept the goat with me. One of the paravets of our federation is taking care of this goat by giving periodic vaccination, deworming, vitamins and medicines. I wish that this will help us all to generate a good source of income.

In addition, there was training on the scientific way of goat rearing at our village with all the interested SHG members of our VO. The training was conducted by two para vets from Talguri village of our Federation. That day goats of all the members were vaccinated. We were specially trained on different disease symptoms, how to identify them, and also the treatment aspect of these diseases. Thanks to SeSTA that we have access to trained para vets now. I can consult the para vet in case I face any issue with my goats. They also come to see my goats every month to check and monitor their growth and health.”

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