Hand Tractor is Hard Sell

Dhoker Jhara Village, India


As usual, we are continuously trying to empower women through small business. We are setting up a lady named Sonapati as an example. She started a small shop where she sells daily used things like soap, oil, rice and others.


Last lesson,  we demonstrated the power tiller machine (hand tractor) for breaking ground, so that they could learn and be encouraged to do the same. It is not too easy a task because our people have traditionally been breaking ground using ox or buffaloes. This machine is something they feel is out of tradition, and we have to set a solid example to change their minds. After they saw and felt that using the machine was not too hard, some of them started coming forward with hesitation to learn to operate it. Later on I encouraged them to learn how to use it and to use it in their own fields. Some of the farmers came forward and started learning. Two of them, Darban and Nathaniel, did an excellent job and they demonstrated before others that breaking ground is both easier and better using this machine compared to draft animals. Now others are also coming forward to learn how to do this. 


I am encouraging them to use hybrid seed which can give them better rice production. Some of them are convinced, but their main concern is whether this seed is reproducible or not, because they always keep some of the seed from the total production for the next cultivation and this cycle goes on. This hybrid seed is reproducible only two times, after which they will have to purchase fresh seed from the market. However, the hybrid seed yields three times better than the seed they are currently using. 


Thank you,