From Post To Tiller: Story of An Award Winning Postmaster Cum Organic Farmer!
“Indian women should do farming” shares Archana Patil, a postmaster from the Devsinga village of Marathwada. Patil herself is an award-winning organic farmer who has a keen interest in soil conservation via organic farming practices.
Moreover, Patil apart from being the village postmaster has been actively involved in the village’s community development initiatives. She is the head of Krishi Mahila Mandal & has earned the village’s respect by working dedicatedly towards women empowerment via SSP – Swayam Shiksha Prayog’s self-help group. As a farmer, Patil owns 10 acres of land along with her husband.
In their farms, Patil & her husband grow vegetables as well as pulses using biopesticide like Dasha Parni apart from the rotation of crops to further assist in soil conservation. Their committed efforts & organic farming techniques have yielded better soil fertility & the farm’s yields have improved steadily too. Patil along with other women from her village is a recipient of formal training organized by SSP for soil testing, water & seed germination, making Amrit Jal, Amritmitti, earthworm compost, animal care, land mulching and fodder management.
Patil now has a small animal husbandry set up with about 10 animals to aid in the farming activity & as a source of cow dung, urine etc for making bio-pesticides. The cattle produce milk which has been fetching a decent profit & she has also started fodder cultivation to ensure optimum nourishment for her cattle.
Apart from her professional life & farming, Archana has also donated her sweat & volunteered to spread the word of Devsinga’s organic farming & soil conservation success to 15 nearby villages. More than 2000 women have been inspired by her & have taken small pieces of land from their husbands to farm it themselves. More than 200 women have also visited Devsinga to witness & learn more from Patil’s initiatives for soil conservation.
Patil has contributed many Marathi Krishi magazines with articles on the optimal use of bio-pesticides to improve soil quality. She has conducted training for making Azola preparations & Bio-pesticides.
For her exemplary work in soil conservation, Patil has received the Krishi Gaurav Award from Agrowon along with recognition from Parbani Agricultural University.
We need many more Archana Patil’s but looking at the way people & especially women at the grass-root level are helping each other grow, we can be assured to see a better India soon. From the urban parts, organizations like Swayam Shiksha Prayog are doing their bit to provide every support that people like Archana Patil may require in their efforts of soil conservation.
More volunteers from the city can come forth for soil conservation volunteering wherein we can visit nearby villages to educate the masses & future generations on the benefits of going organic. Interested folks can also donate their sweat to conduct workshops for the farmer’s children to educate the next generation farmers, in the beginning, itself about the best ways to go ahead with for soil & water conservation.Scientists from labs should donate their sweat to educate the poor farmers on best cultivation practices & new techniques to improve the yield organically.
We can all bring in the green revolution once again by going organic & doing our bits to ensure a better health for our mother nature!