Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Inspiring Stories 1: Janardan Kinkar

Mr. Janardan Kinkar is one of the several Indian farmers who provide the society with food and are the pillars of Indian agriculture, but have not themselves eaten expensive and nutritious foods like green gram (mung dal), black gram (udad dal), peas, and fruits in past 35-40 years. He represents a vast majority of farmers who grow cash crops and crops that fetch more money, sell them, and spend that money on less expensive grains and vegetables from public distribution systems and local markets. The diet consists mostly of carbohydrates, and lacks severely in proteins, vitamins and minerals.

Mr. Janardan Kinkar in his field

Opportunities Chetana-Vikas offered:

After coming in contact with Chetana-Vikas and initiating new techniques of dryland farming in his fields, Mr. Janardan has increased his net income by 10 times in last 8 years (Fig. 1). The basket accommodates at least 35-40 different food crops. This variety is important for two reasons. Indian agriculture suffers from seasonal variations, especially variations in monsoon patterns. A mixed cropping technique makes sure that the farmer gets something in her/his hands at the end of the season. The second reason deals with nutrition which is even more important. India stands at an abysmal 67th rank (out of 84 countries) in terms of global hunger index 2010, released recently by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington D.C.

Mr. Kinkar making structures with local materials for soil and water conservation for conscious natural resource management

Fig. 1 Mr. Kinkar's net income through years before and after Chetana - Vikas's intervention


Mr. Janardan's family of four sit down for food after completing the day's work in the fields. Lunch is a wholesome meal of sorghum (jawar) roti, and green gram (moong dal) - stuff that they grew in their 4 acres (~1.5 hectares) of shallow drylands.

In his own words, "If I hadn't followed this self-reliant method of farming, I would have to commit suicide like others..."

Access to beans and pulses for affordable food and nutrition security for the family

In the process of selling organic cotton

Soyabean harvest

Marketing committee of self-reliant farmers' collective procuring Mr. Kinkar's cotton

Mr. Kinkar who is a "village enginner" is seen here along with his female collagues, taking up construction of soil-water management structures for the area

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