Sundernagar (Gujarat)
May 06, 2004
10:35:36 AM IST

A woman's touch to turn a village green

Moti Morsal village in Gujarat's Sundernagar District is green and fertile today due to the relentless efforts of its women. There was a time when extremely hot summers and scanty rainfall would force the villagers of nearly 160 houses to leave the area in search of food and water.

However, under the aegis of the Aga Khan Rural Support Program, the village women who once used to walk miles for drinking water, have started schemes like roof water harvesting in tanks with storage capacities of around 10,000 liters to meet drinking water requirements up to six months.

The womens' group has also constructed two check dams, roads, and a village school. The organization produces organic manure in which only women are involved.

"The women of Moti Morsal village have been involved in making this manure for the last three years and they earn good money out of it," said Surekhaben, community organizer of Aga Khan Rural Support Program.

The production of the bio-fertilizer has helped the village households earn nearly Rs.5, 000 (111 dollars) to Rs.7, 000 rupees (156 dollars) a month. The villagers said the bio-fertlisers have improved the quality of the soil, resulting in better yields.

"Organic compost manure has many advantages. Water is big problem here and it really affects the wages of people. Women associated with animal husbandry made such type of manure, which helped in increasing their wages. This project was undertaken five years ago," Mahesh Patel, Program Assistant-Agriculture, Aga Khan Rural Support Program, said.

Organic farming not only helps in increasing micro-nutrients of the soil, but also provides organic matter to microbes, which help to fertilize the soil and prevent the spread of soil-borne diseases. (ANI)