Champa Singh – The Agri-Entrepreneur
Champa Singh, the eldest daughter, lost her father in her early age, left school at 8th to help her mother in agriculture, lost her husband just 2 months after marriage, lost her sister due to lack of treatment had only 2 acres of land with an annual income of Rs 69,000. She joined in SHG and later selected as Krishi Sakhi, got training on agro-ecology, applied the same in her land, crop yield increased, 300 SHG members got inspired to see the result started following her. She is running an NPM shop in her village, her annual income increased to Rs 2,97,000.)
“Things change, but life doesn’t stop for anybody,” that was the life experience of Champa Singh, who belongs to the Soniyamar village of Annuppur district (Madhya Pradesh). Her father cultivated various crops using conventional practices in their 2 acres of land, and the total annual income of her family was Rs 0.69 lakh, but her father died when she was a child. Being the elder daughter, Champa had to leave school after 8th standard to help her mother with household chores and agricultural works. Her mother had to work in their farm field and earn wages to manage their families with great difficulty for daily needs and education to her younger brother and sister. Then suddenly Champa lost her sister, as they could not afford to access better medical facilities. She got married at an early age of 17 years. But misfortune did not leave her, and she lost her husband just after two months of her marriage. Then she had no option but to return to her mother’s house, putting further stress on her mother.
In 2016 Aajeevika mission entered her village and she joined as a member of the Krishna SHG on 11th February. Due to her proclivity and experience in agriculture, she was identified by the block team as Krishi Sakhi and participated in training in various Agro-ecological practices.
After the training, she realised the agricultural practices she was following was deteriorating soil quality and soil productivity. She learnt new practices like preparation of and use of Bhu-NADEP, Azolla, SRI, etc that may revive the soil. After adopting new practices in her field, she observed doubling of production of cereals and triple of the same for vegetables with an overall 30% reduction in the cost of cultivation. These facts made her confident, and she started helping 300 fellow SHG members to adopt these improved practices.
After this, due to her excellent communication skill and positive experiences, she was selected as Master Krishi Sakhi (m-CRP) by the National Mission. This opened opportunities for her to help SHG members of other states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab.
She also took a loan of Rs. 15,000 for farming. She opened a retail shop on the organic product to sell vermi-compost, bio-pesticides, and Bio-fertilizers. She also has established an Agri Nutri Garden (Poshan Vatika) in the backyard of her mother’s house for the consumption of fresh and chemical-free vegetables. She is now well known m-CRP, and she has increased her annual income by 334%.