Learning new techniques of cash crop farming, a group of women in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh successfully started papaya farming on barren land, a source of inspiration for other women that nothing is impossible to achieve.
A group of women in Mangalpur village of Bastar formed the ‘Maa Danteshwari Papai Utpadak Samiti’ in which 43 women joined and decided to cultivate papaya on barren land.
Their hard work finally paid off and they successfully produced papaya worth Rs 40 lakh.
Hemvati Kashyap, Secretary of Maa Danteshwari Papai Utpadak Samiti, tells that she did a business of Rs 40 lakh by growing 300 tonnes of papaya on 10-acre land. The women were invited to visit Delhi for the first time in an aeroplane.
“Our lives are changing,” Kashyap said.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel congratulated the women for travelling in a plane to New Delhi. He said they earn a profit of Rs 10 lakh a year by recovering the cost.
Hema Kashyap said that the land was quite rocky and barren. So, to make it cultivable, they had to toil for one and a half month. She said women picked stones with their own hands and removed nearly 100 trolley of rocks.
The ground was made fit for cultivation by bringing red soil from outside.
The women associated with this self-help group say that places were selected and made ready for planting papaya.
The preparation work for land was started by the women of the self-help group in December 2021 which lasted for about one and a half months. On January 11, 2021, the planting of papaya saplings started.
Due to the hard work put in by the women, 5500 papaya plants are flourishing on a 10 acre area.
As much as 300 tonnes of papaya have been produced till now and vegetables are being grown on the same land by inter-cropping.
It is being claimed that for the first time the Amina variety of papaya is being cultivated in Bastar which are not only sweet and tasty, but nutritious as well.
The sweet taste of papaya grown by women in Mangalpur village across Darbha block of Bastar is fast spreading to Delhi.
In Delhi’s Azadpur mandi, three consignments of papaya of nearly five tonnes each have been sold at Rs 80 per kg.
These women have used automated drip irrigation system to grow papaya due to which water and soluble fertilisers reach the papaya roots in appropriate quantity.
Experts say that farming is possible only with the help of drip irrigation technology on rocky soil.
Irrigation system operator Manish Kashyap has told that this entire irrigation system is computerised and can be operated from anywhere with the help of internet connection.
Women have also built a state-of-the-art weather station by which the appropriate temperature, evaporation rate, soil moisture, moisture content in the air, wind speed and wind direction are measured.
Women are using the information for irrigation through the app in their mobile phones and productivity has increased with the use of the technology.