Breaking from Traditional Farming Methods

Dhoker Jhara Village, India


This is the season of paddy cultivation and all the villagers are busy with it. During this season, I got a chance to give them ideas for better cultivation. I used the power tiller machine (hand tractor) for breaking ground, showing them so they could learn and be encouraged to do the same. It is not easy, because our people have always broken ground using ox or buffalos. This is something they feel is out of their tradition, and we have to set a solid example to convince them.


After they saw and felt that using this machine was not hard, some of them started coming forward with some hesitation to learn how to operate it. Later, I encouraged them to practice using it on their own fields. Some of the farmers came forward and started learning. Two of them, Darban and Nathaniel, did an excellent job, and they shared before others that breaking ground is easier and better by using this machine, compared to oxen or buffaloes. Now, others are also coming forward to learn how to use it.


I am encouraging them to use hybrid seeds for better rice production. Some farmers have been convinced to do so, but their main concern is whether this seed is reproducible or not. They always keep some of the seed from the total production for the next cultivation, and the cycle goes on. The hybrid seed is reproducible only two times, after which they have to purchase fresh seed from the market. But the production is three times better than the seed they are currently using.