Rural household women have plenty of leisure time during afternoon to practice some sort of revenue generation work. But it becomes important to select an enterprise, which does not require any major investment. A good example is Mrs. Lysamma Baby of Kozhikode district in Kerala and her team of three women who are successful entrepreneurs in vermiculture technology today.
All the three women come from economically poor families with land holding of just 10-70 cents and have to depend on their husbands’ earnings for all their day to day requirements. Their husbands work as daily agricultural labourers and earn about Rs.90-100 per day.
With irregular work and an uncertain income, the ladies were finding it quite hard to manage their families. They were introduced to the staff of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of the Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR) by some beneficiary farmers in their village.
Accordingly a SHG named ‘Nidhi’ was formed for the women by the scientists and a project on vermiculture was prepared for them and the local Panchayat provided them with a loan of Rs. 5,000 for starting a vermicompost unit.
The group constructed 4 vermicompost tanks with ant wells around them and the tanks were provided with iron net frames on top to protect the worms from rats, lizards and birds.
The unit became functional within 3 months. The group members also started smallscale cultivation of vegetables, banana etc. in the interspaces of coconut palms in their lands. Two members of the group completely brought their land under organic farming applying only vermicompost.
The group started selling the excess compost at the rate of Rs. 8-10 per kg. Today the local demand for the compost is high and the group is not able to meet the demand for supplying the compost.
The women groups have started generating their own income and presently have a deposit of more than Rs. 25,000 in the bank.”
The group has so far realized a total income of Rs.53, 514 from vermicompost alone in the past 2 years.