Laxmi Majhi Shows the way for Millet Production
Laxmi Majhi of Baharpdamajhi village, has only one acre of land, and sharecrops another half an acre. On the half acre of sharecropped land, Laxmi grew vegetables and pulses. On her own 1 acre, she cultivated, millets, However, the yield was poor, and Laxmi had to do wage labour to make ends meet.
Two years back, Laxmi attended an Agragamee training programmes for improving cultivation of millets. In these programmes, she learnt of several techniques and methods to improve the production of finger millets, including best practices for nursery beds, the importance of transplanting and spacing the seedlings at appropriated time and distance, weeding at proper time, water management, and organic methods for pest management and improving soil fertility.
Laxmi paid careful attention to all the details during the training programmes, and adopted the different techniques with great zeal, right from preparation of the seed bed, to timing, and correct spacing. Following the advice of her trainers, she carefully knotted a string at exactly 10inch intervals, and used it to do a perfect SMI (system of millet intensification) for finger millet in her fields. Using the equipment provided, she also ran the weeder through the rows, so that the weeds were controlled, and the roots of the finger millet were effectively aerated giving rile to several tillers from each little seedling.
The results were impressive. Laxmi got the best yield in her village, and it was three times what she would get in previous crops. Delighted with this, Laxmi has not only committed to continue with SMI techniques in the rabi season, but also promised she will spread the technique to other farmers in the village. And so Laxmi is now as busy using her innate leadership abilities to motivate other farmers to also adopt the improved techniques, as she is maintaining and developing her yields to have the best output.