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Lokhi Ray begins to move

SeSTA started working in Paschim Enkorbari, in the year 2010. Since then, a woman collective named Jonali SHG is endeavoring to ensure sustainable livelihood and enhancement of agency of the members. Lokhi Ray is a member of that SHG. She lives with her husband, one little son, and her mother-in-law. Earlier, the family has only one livelihood activity as Masonry, which was fully depended on her husband. The family has 4 bighas of lowland and 2 bighas of upland as their resources, whereas in lowland, she does paddy, and in 2 bighas of land, one bigha is their household area and another one is the fallow land. The family had food security of only 8 months, with a productivity of 7 mon paddy per bigha of land. And, so the family had a hard time to fulfill their needs and became indebted with borrowings of over Rs. 50000 from traditional money lending institution of bhoral.

After she become the member of SHG, she got easy access to affordable credit. She has repaid all the debts to local Bhoral. She was doing small nursery unit of Arecanut, after taking the financial help from SHG. In 2015, she saw herself as an entrepreneur, with a net income of Rs. 3000. She has benefitted with SRI Arecanut plantation and Vermin compost preparation training in the same year. In 2015, during kharif season, she cultivated SRI-paddy for the 1st time in 1 bigha of land and earned production of 14 mon. In the year 2016, she has taken a decision to do Arecanut gardening on that 1 bigha of fallow land. She has planted 120 saplings of Arecanut, with 20 Assam lemons as a secondary crop. She has also grown vegetables in horticulture plot. She has developed a good knowledge of organic practices of agriculture. She had produced 10 quintals of vermin-compost in last year with 5 cycles of production. In 2016 Kharif season, she did SRI paddy on 4 bighas of low land and benefitted with the productivity of 12-14 mon per bigha.

Lokhi and her family are now food secure all-round the year. She has started a nursery of Arecanut, producing vermicompost, doing nutritional gardening, enhanced her knowledge on agriculture and gained self-growth, confidence and earned respect from the whole village.