In these dark times when we are hearing of struggles and challenges every single day, the story of Mr.Harekrushana Naik in the Keonjhar district of Odisha, is indeed one that makes you smile.

Following the processes and trainings taught by Project SEEDS (a project implemented by PECUC with support from BMZ & TDH (G- IP) – Harekrushna has managed to grow enough green vegetables to ensure his family has enough to eat during these times. He has also managed to continue his income by selling the extra produce in and around his village – following all the norms of social distancing.

When the project first started work in this area – Harekrushna like many other farmers around him – was struggling to make ends meet. High costs of chemical fertilizers and hybrid seeds ensured that he had to take loans and he would have no means of ensuring grains saved up for his family or basic food security.

The project team introduced to them organic and cost effective ways of ensuring they could have incomes and food security through the year. During the season when they wouldn’t have their chief crops – the team taught them to grow vegetables in their own gardens using waste water from their homes. The farmers were also given additional support in the form of locally available seeds and organic fertilizers. Harekrushana also learnt these methods and working with the team slowly worked towards a space where he had no loans and had managed to put aside grains for his family to be used during emergencies.

When the COVID crisis hit and the entire country went into lockdown, Harekrushna and his family was available to manage beautifully with the grains in storage and the vegetables he grows. Not only that – he is also able to bring in some income by selling the excess vegetables from his kitchen garden.

He is confident that he can sustain till the lockdown ends and he can go back to the markets.