" TOWARDS BUILDING A SOCIALLY JUST AND ENVIRONMENTALLY WHOLE SOCIETY "
INSTITUTE FOR INTEGRATED RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Maharashtra state has witnessed uneven and skewed agricultural and economic development throughout the state, with Marathwada (comprising of 8 districts -Aurangabad, Jalna, Beed, Parbhani, Hingoli, Nanded, Latur and Osmanabad) becoming the most neglected region of Maharashtra in terms of major developmental indicators.The economy of rural Marathwada largely depends on agriculture even as the agriculture sector’s contribution to the state income has rapidly declined. With poor rainfall patterns and drought being a recurrent feature, the rural population grapple with a cycle of poverty and unemployment. Institute for Integrated Rural Development (IIRD) has emerged in this region, out of the need to strengthen grassroots development initiatives for promoting sustainable livelihoods.Since 1987, IIRD has been exploring into the area of "self-reliant" development through people’s initiatives focusing on organic agriculture,appropriate housing, micro-enterprise development,community-based health care, environmental education and women’s development. Together with the people, IIRD strives to bring about inclusion of the marginalized, better livelihoods and a more sustainable environment.
I was given a great opportunity to transform my life through the IIRD Green College training and start-up support services. My family also supported my interest of developing a goat rearing unit and permitted me the use of our “onion drying shed” for converting into a goat shed. I now have a 20 goat small enterprise and plan to increase it gradually. I am proud that my small unit now serves as a model for the village youth and a demonstration centre for other trainings of the Green College.
I have a 3 acre farm where I grow vegetables and pulses. I was provided training on organic agriculture and I started using organic farming methods in my farm. The production has improved tremendously and my farm soil has also become healthy. I have purchased few goats and a cow with which I prepare organic inputs for my farm. I have now started earning a good income from marketing my organic farm products and organic inputs. I could develop a sizeable network of dedicated consumers from the city of Aurangabad through participation in the organic bazaar organised by IIRD, few of whom have also visited my farm the past year.