News about successful farmers from the Northeast of India is always cause for celebration for the Zizira explorers.
A report on a lady farmer from the district of West Khasi Hills, shared with team Zizira by Canning Shabong, Assistant Director of Agriculture, was extra special. We bring you the highlights. Hope it inspires you too, as much as it did us. Read her story.
Angela Shangoi, a lady farmer from the beautiful city of Nongstoin, the headquarters of the district of West Khasi Hills, is a loving mother of six. At the same time, a successful farmer making her village and her district proud.
Angela started farming in the year 2000, after moving to a fertile valley called Umiap, in the West Khasi Hills District. She settled in the village of Mawkynbat. In Meghalaya, it is the normal practice for farmers living in or near valleys to grow paddy during summer.
Paddy is grown as the main staple crop, for food security reasons. Angela too did the same and cultivated a local variety of paddy.
By 2013-14, Angela had 4 hectares of land in which she cultivated paddy. That was when she came to know about a centrally sponsored scheme under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM), and, she followed up.
Soon she started growing the MEG II variety and the yield doubled by 2014-15 – from around 1.8 MT per hectare to 3.8 MT per hectare. In fact, she is now a registered provider of paddy seeds to fellow farmers of her village. This phase of her growth, as a farmer, was through sheer hard work and determination.
Angela did not stop with rice and has gone on to grow maize and other vegetables like peas, carrots, beetroot, beans, and more which are fetching her good returns.
In December 2015, she did a novel thing. She took up large scale green pea cultivation during the fallow season for paddy, i.e. in winter. She could fetch a good price as she got to harvest the crop during the off-season. And, she has not looked back since then.
Angela then experimented with carrots, which too did very well. She is continuing with carrots – planting in January and harvesting in April. District Horticulture Office saw the work Angel was doing and gifted her a greenhouse where she is now growing vegetables like coriander, beetroot, cucumber, brinjal and tomato.
One can see that she had continued to experiment and adapt – signs of a smart entrepreneur.
Angela felt the need to help other farmers and, during the year 2012-13, she formed a Self-Help Group (SHG) with 10 members. She is the President of this SHG, called ‘Iatreilang SHG’, and the best part is, she is creating leaders like herself. They make a great team and the results are showing.
In March 2015, the Office of the District Horticulture Officer provided her SHG with a Jeep, to help transport produce to the wholesale market in Shillong! Thanks to the transport, the SHG is able to reach their produce in a timely manner to the market and find buyers and thus benefit.
Subscribes to Market Information provided by the Department
Innovative ideas continued to strike Angela. She subscribed to receiving wholesale market prices through SMS, a service provided free of cost through a joint project by the Directorate of Horticulture, the State Marketing Board and NIC. She relies on these mobile alerts to know when to move her produce to the market. Yes, this helps her get a better price!
Success feeds on success and in March 2016 she has conferred the National Krishi Karman Award, in recognition of her good work in improving the productivity of paddy. Along with a citation she received a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakhs from the Prime Minister of India. What a proud moment it was for her.
What do you think she did with the money she won as an award?
She invested in buying a new power tiller to further her farming enterprise! This shows her passion for her profession – farming – and her constant quest to adopt new ideas and technologies and to continue to excel.
Thanks to her passionate drive to excel, she was an example for others. And, her village of Mawkynbat and Umiap are big into pea cultivation. All thanks to one dynamic lady farmer! We hope to hear about more such ‘Angelas’.
Do you know about dedicated farmers from the Northeast of India like Angela? If yes, write to us!
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