The region of Mithilanchal is situated between Nepal border and northern side of Ganges, having numerous of rivers and water streams in and around its geographical spread. There are more than 12, perennial and non perennial, rivers flowing in this region which provide ample water to the area however bring floods during rainy season as well. In fact, these rivers act as natural gift also act as curse for the region. The soil of this region is very fertile; it is formed by the deposition of alluvial soil by the rivers following in this area. The soil is fertile enough to harvest three crops but there is prevalence of mono cropping due to flood and other socio-economic factors such as feudal social structure, landlessness, poor infrastructure and low yield etc.
Madhubani is essentially an agricultural district. Paddy (rice/wheat) sugarcane, mangoes, Litchi, are the major crops produced in the area. Majority of the population depends on agriculture but the land holdings are mostly with the upper caste people. Around 4.75 lacs SCs and 12.60 lacks OBCs do not have their own land for agriculture. They are primarily wage earners but also do share cropping. The district consists of vast low lying plain intersected by numerous streams of Bagmati, Kamala and Balan apart form several marshes making it a flood prone district. It witnesses constant threat of flood every year during rainy season. Though the land is very fertile but unfortunately the productivity is very low due to floods and inadequate infrastructure and poor management/availability of land, labour & capital. At the same time, during Dry seasons due to the lack of proper Irrigation facilities, the land remains barren and no output is generated, making the situation even worse.
Looking at such a sad Agricultural state of affair, Sakhi intervened with its projects aimed at solving the seasonal and infrastructural/technological issues which otherwise acts as a hindrance and discourage the farmers from taking up the agricultural practices.
The key projects are:
- Dry season agriculture for marginal & tenant Farmers- IWMI
- Sustainable & Resilient farming system in Eastern Gangetic plain – CIMMYT
- Vegetable Cultivation for Rural women farmers — International Development Exchnage (USA)
- Formation of 10 Farmers group across project area.
- 40 acre of land irrigated by solar pump and drip irrigation and Sprinkler facilities.
- The land which used to remain barren got converted into agricultural land.
- Shift in cropping pattern happened from Paddy- wheat-moong/ barren to paddy-wheat- vegetable.
- Shift in the tenant-landlord relation.
- Earlier shared cropping system was there now farmers started leasing of land.
- Income of the collective farmer group increases from vegetable farming.
- Modern method of vegetable farming started in village.
- Some farmers also started vegetable vending as their livelihood options.
- Farming done in 20 acre land with Modern agricultural equipments like Zero tillage, paddy trans planter
- The farmers got trained and familiarized with the modern techniques of agriculture.
- The new technology helped farmers save time and money.
- The land was also saved from getting burnt as the new technology required the land to remain unburnt in order to retain its quality and nutrient.
- Mulching technique was promoted which helped in retaining the long life of the soil and not eroding of its nutrient.
- 200 women farmer trained on various vegetable options
- Different methods and techniques of vegetable cultivation imparted
- knowledge of use manures and fertilizers imparted to women farmers.
- Trained on various vending options and strategies