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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Living: Case-44: LAXMI’S DREAMS COME TRUE!

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35 year old Kotla Laxmi and her husband Gopal Reddy lived in Gopannapalli Village in Devarakadra Mandal of Mahaboobnagar district with their son and daughter. They have six acres of dryland. There is a borewell on this land but it did not irrigate more than a quarter of an acre, hence they used to cultivate red gram, green gram and cotton. These crops too yielded good results only when the rains were good. On the land irrigated by the borewell they cultivated vegetables for their family. The entire family depended on agriculture, and as there was no other income generating option they faced several hardships.

After the watershed programme of APRLP started in Gopannapalli village the borewell on their land has yielded more water for the past two years. Laxmi felt that with more water she could grow vegetables which would fetch her a better income. She asked for a loan of Rs.10, 000 and started cultivating ladies finger, tomato, brinjal, bitter gourd and green leafy vegetables on half an acre of land.

Today Laxmi and her husband sell their vegetables in Koukuntla on Thursdays and at Devarakadra on Sundays. They also sell leafy vegetables in the village every day. Their expenses for cultivating vegetables are:

Seeds cost                           Rs.3, 000
Fertilisers                             Rs.3, 000
Pesticides                            Rs.6, 000
Labour                                Rs.5, 000
Total                                   Rs.17, 000

Their average income from selling vegetables is Rs.2, 500 per week, therefore their profit in the year is approximately Rs.80, 000. Last year, because the rates for vegetables were high they earned more than Rs.2, 00,000. With this they bought a pair of bullocks worth Rs.25, 000, a house worth Rs.1, 10,000, a TV costing Rs.10, 000, gold worth Rs.37, 000. Compared to the past they are now leading a very happy life. Laxmi says that because of the watershed programme a lot of good things have happened in her life which otherwise would not have happened, because they could not have earned this money.

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