“We just used to throw the seeds on the land; we did not know anything about organised plantation, sowing seeds and nursery. I was earning about 5,000 rupees a year.
“Trainers from the cooperative taught us about farming techniques. Now I am growing commercial seeds like radish and I am earning 30,000 rupees a year from this land. That’s a big improvement, a big achievement for me.
“Even if there is nobody to look after me, I stand on my own feet. Even if I don’t have any education, I can farm, earn a living and support my children. I pay their tuition fees and their school expenses with the money I earn.
I have already achieved a little part of my dream and I am determined to make the rest come true.”
The Pavitra cooperative has gone from producing just a few hundred kilos of seeds to over 30 tonnes. Working together, the Oxfam team and the co-operative have developed groundbreaking relationships with private sector partners including a major national bank (which now provides finance to farmers), national seed buying companies, and professional business mentors.