In prehistoric times, men used to go hunting to fetch food while the women were restricted to their shelters to take care of the family. Fast forward to the 21century, women in most developed countries are taking part in everything that previously involved only men. But this is a scenario in developed countries.
In the underdeveloped or developing countries, things have not really changed much. Men are still considered to be the sole breadwinners while the women are discouraged to face the outside world. Only those women who dare to show their courage by tearing the cocoon of patriarchy are being successful and Momi Dey is one of them.
Popping the patriarchy bubble
In Narwal Patti village of Kaushambi district, Uttar Pradesh, women were treated the same way as one would expect in a developing nation. Always treated secondary to men and never encouraged to do something on their own. But how long can one cope up with such an obligatory lifestyle when one is born to be free and independent?
This is when Momi, a member of the Rashtriya Sevika Samiti (the women’s wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), decided to step in to put an end to the misery of those women. She formed a group of 20 women and started an initiative to make farming an efficient process in their villages by adapting the practice of multi-layered farming.
Future of farming
Under this initiative, crops and vegetables of varying heights are being sown in the same field. The objective of multi-layer farming is to utilise the vertical, horizontal, and underground space more effectively. In this method, the tallest components have foliage of strong light and high evaporative demand whereas the shorter components with foliage require lesser shade and or relatively high humidity. Not only does this process add organic nutrients to soil, it also enriches its fertility.
So in February this year, a group of women, led by Momi, sowed their first seeds of a variety of crops. Since it was the first time someone in the district practiced this type of farming, there was a lot at stake for the women who were at the threshold of their independence. Using only cow urine and dung as manure for the soil, the group cut down the investment cost significantly.
Economical and productive
The women used vermi-compost as fertilisers in around one beegha of land while sowing seeds in order to maintain the taste of vegetable and fruits. After three months of hard work, they have finally been successful in growing different varieties of vegetables and fruit in four layer of organic farming.
“We have produced crop of ginger in first layer, green potato, bottle guard, ridged gourd, and bitter gourd in second layer, papaya in third layer and spinach on ground level. The crop of bottle gourd, ridged gourd and green potato was produced through machan (platform) cultivation,” Momi told The Times of India.
As a result of this innovative technique, the women are now set to earn Rs 2.5 to 3 lakh annually. Besides, the multi-layer technique has also ensured them a steady supply of farm products throughout the year.
Momi and her women’s success have prompted more and more farmers, both men and women, from Kaushambi and Allahabad to come forward and learn the techniques of this farming method. Through their success, these women have not only carved a niche for themselves in the future of farming, but also set an example of how to be independent and strong.
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