Organic and Year-Round Crops

Jatapara Village, India

This past quarter offered many examples for helping Jatapara Village be self-sustaining. They never imagined that fish farming, goat farming, and selling these would earn them profit. They used to think only non-tribes could do this. Because we’ve earned their trust and support, we were able to train them in animal husbandry and agriculture, leading them toward greater income generation and improving their lives as well.

The Santal tribe people are very reserved and prefer not to ask anything from anyone. Due to the persecution they have faced for decades, they have always been abused by money lenders and some government officers. Being cut off from modern society, they are not aware of the newest and latest techniques of farming. This is the reason we are trying to help them learn about all these.

We taught them about many things this last quarter. One of these is health and hygiene, where we taught them to take precaution when drinking rainwater during the rainy season which just passed. The importance of including fresh and nutritious vegetables in their diet was also a topic. We instructed them on proper techniques for growing their main crop of rice, to maximize their profits. As it happened, this year’s heavy rain season yielded a remarkable crop.

Besides the teaching on agriculture, we are trying to create a model crop for them. Since they have never seen examples before, we are building a nursery house, based on organic farming. This will allow for growing vegetables in all seasons throughout the whole year, creating more profit. After the completion of this model project, we will encourage villagers to do the same in their field, creating a bigger supply for this organic product. We are just in the beginning stages of this project.

Other than agriculture, we want to offer them training in goat farming. We invited them to get goats for the sole purpose of gaining profit. Already 21 families have taken an interest in taking a goat.