JHARKHAND: Like most farmers, Jailalita Devi of Bhelwatand village in Koderma district of Jharkhand was spending a lot of money to buy chemical fertilisers for her crops, but the output was not enough. Fed up, she switched to ‘Dravjeevamrit’ a few years ago and since then, she has not only been saving a lot of money that she had to earlier spend on expensive chemical fertlisers but has also been getting a bumper harvest.
That’s the story of many other farmers in Jharkhand. Thanks to the State Rural Development Department’s initiative, organic manures rich in soil and crop nutrients are available for them at low costs. This fertiliser is made by mixing some of the easily available resources in the villages such as cow dung, jaggery, cow urine and soil extracted from tree-roots. The rural development department, in association with Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS), has developed more than 350 master trainers to train self-help group (SHG) members in making ‘Dravjeevamrit’ and other organic manures. These master trainers, in turn, train other village women for two-three days following which they start making organic manures at home.
Besides, various Aajeevika Krishak Sakhis, trained under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission are creating awareness among rural women on the benefits of these organic manures like Dravjeevamrit, Ghanjeevamrit, Nimastra etc..Jailalita Devi is not only using it, but also been producing and selling ‘Dravjeevamrit’. “I am not only using it but also preparing and selling ‘Dravjeevamrit’ at my home for the last two years and making around Rs 4,000 extra money every month, which is a great support for my family,” she says.
Use of ‘Dravjeevamrit’ and other organic fertilisers increases the availability of nitrogen, iron and phosphorus in the soil,” said Jailalita Devi. About 100 litres of ‘Dravjeevamrit’ is used for one acre land and is more effective than chemical fertilizers available in the market, she added.
After she was trained in making organic fertilizers two years back by JSLPS, she has set up a stall at home where she sells organic fertilisers to others. “I am not only using it in my fields, but also inspiring others in the village to switch to it. I also train others how to prepare it by mixing cow dung, jaggery, gram flour, cow urine and soil extracted from the mound of white ants and banyan tree-roots in the jungles in the right proportion,” said Jailalita Devi. More and more locals are now using ‘Dravjeevamrit’ and other home-made fertilisers in place of urea, DAP etc. “It not only increases fertility of the soil, but also works as a bactericidal and growth hormone for crops,” said Jailalita.
Though, ‘Dravjeevamrit’ is used mainly for paddy cultivation, but it is perfect for any crop to provide full phosphorus nutrition throughout the crop growth and development, as well as a starter dose of nitrogen and low Sulphur.
Prabha Devi of Bamni village under Silli Block in Ranchi is also sold to the idea of organic manures. “I used it in my fields on trial basis and was surprised to see that it gave better produce than chemical fertilizers. Since then, I have been using it and selling it to others for past two years,” she says, adding that she has been making an additional amount of Rs 3,000-5,000 every month.
A group of 30 women in the village have also been doing organic farming on about 10 acres of land. Referring to the merits of ‘Dravjeevamrit’, Prabha Devi said that unlike chemical fertilisers, it is free from side-effects and also increases soil fertility in the long run.
More than 8,750 women have been using ‘Dravjeevamrit’ in Jharkhand villages. JSLPS officials claimed that as many as 10 stores selling the organic fertilisers are being run across the state. “Around 30,000 farmers in the state have been connected to natural farming through Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture,” said JSLPS CEO Nancy Sahay.
‘Expression’ for women in Chhattisgarh
To rein in crime against women, the Chhattisgarh Police have designed a unique app named ‘Abhivyakti’ (Expression). Launched by CM Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday, the app incorporates three essential safety features: SOS service when women in distress can call for immediate police assistance 24x7. Second, a woman can lodge complaint sitting at home and need not visit police station and thirdly she can access tips on her security and available legal support. There will be proper follow-up.
Banking on resources available locally
Initiative started by: State Rural Development Department in association with Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society
Organic fertilisers being sold: Dravjeevamrit, Ghanjeevamrit, Nimastra etc.
Ingredients: A mix of cow dung, jaggery, gram flour, cow urine, soil extracted from the mound of white ants and banyan tree-roots
Stores across state selling the organic fertilisers: 10