Success stories of Naga women entrepreneurs

Success stories of Naga women entrepreneurs
November 26 | Publish Date: 11/27/2018 4:35:04 AM IST

Since time immemorial, Naga women have actively contributed to the local economy and have provided livelihood for the family.  Even today, they continue to battle against all odds to invest their time and energy in various fields and have made a mark for themselves by virtue of sheer determination and hard work. In this edition of Sunday Post, we feature 9 such women and Self Help Groups (SHGs) who have turned their fortune around and also inspired other women. 

Noune Kro SHG

Noune Kro SHG was formed in the year 2008 with 15 women at Jharnapani village who started by working as daily wage labourers, selling new clothes, tea leaves and mushroom cultivation but later moved on to fiber production industry. By dint of perseverance, the group bagged the “Best organized self help group award (2013-2014)” under ATMA- Dimapur on Independence Day Celebration in 2014 for Dimapur district.

In fiber production industry, banana pseudo-stem and pineapple leaves which are generally disposed after harvesting the fruit, are utilized for extraction of fibre and weaving of different handicraft products. This new and innovative technology introduced to Nagaland can provide a platform for entrepreneurs.

Also, with the increasing need to conserve the environment, the importance of eco-friendly products made of banana and pineapple leaf fibres can be used for its durability and also in apparels and home furnishings.

Keeping this in mind, KVK Dimapur initiated and gave all possible technical assistance to Noune KRO, SHG from Jharnapani Village and trained them on the extraction of the fibers from different Banana and Pineapple cultivars. 

Hetoli Holo
Hetoli Holo, 38 is a livestock women farmer from Hovishe village under Niuland Block, Dimapur. Out of her keen interest to start a poultry farm, she attended a training programme on “Poultry Management” conducted by ATMA Dimapur in 2016. Later in May, 2016, she received 15 1-day old poultry chicks or vanarajas. 
She multiplied these chicks into 40 chickens which she sold to local villagers and wholesalers at Rs 200 per kg when it reached 2 to 3 kgs in a span of 2 to 3 months. To feed the chickens, she procured maize seeds from the markets at Rs 2300 per 50-kg bag and tapioca leaves from her farm that last for 30 to 45 days. To evolve from backyard to commercial farming, Hetoli Holo further approached ATMA Dimapur for assistance and received seed money of Rs 5000 which helped her in procuring poultry birds from KVK-ICAR, Jharnapani at a subsidized rate. She also utilized the seed money in buying poultry feeds and constructed a low cost poultry house. Within a span of 1 and a half years, she generated a net profit of Rs 50,000 from poultry farming. Hetoli Holo continues to coordinate with ATMA and has started other farming activities like raising tree bean nurseries and even bought 3 piglets from the profit generated. Her hard work and cooperation has inspired women farmers from the villages to practice the same.
Ngunyi U
Progressive farmer Ngunyi U has been rearing pigs for the last 15 years and started with one piglet and an initial investment of Rs 2500. Today, her piggery in Seithekema has 9 adult pigs and 8 piglets, and she sells an average of 7 pigs a year. Over the years, she has turned around her fortune to earn around Rs 1, 05,000 annually. With the intervention of ATMA, she also attended trainings and demonstrations and learnt the importance of mixed farming. After receiving technical assistance in 2016, she expanded her farm and ventured into poultry farming to generate additional income. By virtue of her hard work, she now manages to earn Rs 37,500 per year by selling around 50 adult birds when it attains around 3 kgs at the rate of Rs 300 per kg in and around the village. Besides piggery and poultry, Ngunyi U rears silkworm and owns a hectare of mulberry farm. Assisted by the Department of Sericulture, she also underwent training on rearing silkworm and mulberry cultivation at Dharampur, West Bengal in the year 2017. She was selected as one of the beneficiary and was provided with 700 cuttings of mulberry. The silkworm is harvested three times in a year and she has managed to sell around 8kgs of silkworm at a rate of Rs 300 per kg fetching her around Rs 2400 in a single harvest. Her annual turnover from her entire farming activity is approximately Rs 1,02,750 per year.
Hutoni from Niuland Dimapur is the owner of a mixed farm located at Niuland in Dimapur. The mixed farm was founded in 2005 and covers an area of around 10 hectares. ATMA has been not only imparted training programmes and inspection of the field, but also supported her farm by providing inputs such as seed money, wheat bran, neem oil cakes, knapsack sprayer, etc  In the horticultural unit, there are about 150 hybrid mango trees (Anarkali variety), various fruit trees like litchi, peach, tree bean, jackfruit, orange, guavas, pomegranate, banana, lemon, etc. All the seasonal fruits are harvested and sold to the wholesalers who buy directly from their farm at a reasonable price. Horticultural crops generate an income of Rs. 78,000 a year. In the piggery unit, a total of 20 pigs are reared throughout the year. The farm waste comprising of leaves, herbs, trees are used as feeds. A single piglet is sold for Rs. 3500 and the piggery accounts for an income of Rs. 70,000 to 80,000 in a year.  Later, after gaining technical knowledge on poultry rearing and with the earlier assistance from ATMA and KVK, Hutoni also started rearing Kroiler breed. A total number of 100- 300 (3-6 batches) chicks are reared in a year which is mostly used for home consumption and the remaining is sold to wholesalers which fetches here between 5000 to 6000 rupees in a year. The fishery unit at her farm has an area of about 100 x 30 feet and is harvested once in a year.  Fish fingerlings are procured from the nearest market. The fishery rears breeds like catla, rohu, mirga species, etc and generates an income of 8000-10,000 rupees a year. Hutoni also maintains a bee keeping unit with about 20 boxes installed to extract honey and sell the waxes which add Rs 3000 to her income.
Kelhouneinuo Tunyi
44-year-old Kelhouneinuo is a mother of 4 children from Khriezephe village and a self-sufficient farmer who has achieved a sustainable source of livelihood through piggery. She was appointed farmer’s friend and an active member of SHG registered under ATMA-Dimapur, Dhansiripar block and also awarded best farm women during Mahila kisa divas (Women Farmer Day) this year.
She started her piggery venture in the year 2016 with 1 pregnant sow, 2 sows, and 2 boars. Her venture was not smooth sailing as she faced difficulties in managing the animals. Poor growth, early piglet mortality etc were some of the recurring problems she faced. 
Under the guidance of ATMA-Dimapur and Kisan Gosthi on livestock farming organized by ATMA-Dimapur in collaboration with KVK, Jharnapani, she could sell 12 piglets at Rs 3500 each and 2 boars (120 and 100 kgs) at Rs 220 per kg.
Kelhouneinuo has no problem selling her piglets because many neighbours/neighbouring villages book the piglets in advance.  Now, she is happy to pay fees for her school going children regularly and living a more comfortable life than before. At present she has 1 mother sow, 6 piglets, 4 sows and 3 boars.
Delligi Defoes
Delligi Defoes, a successful progressive Eri farmer from Dhansiripar village started practicing sericulture from a young age. She also rears Mulberry Silkworm and engages in Eri silk spinning and weaving and was awarded best farm women during the Mahila Kisan Divas this year. Delligi maintains one and half acre of castor plantation and has been practicing sericulture for last 30 years. Every year, she rears 5-6 crops with the capacity of 50 dfls/crop which fetches about Rs 36,000 annually by selling pupae. In the year 2017, she was selected as a beneficiary and maintained one acre of mulberry plantation. This year, she reared 50 Dfls of mulberry silkworm (BV) and produced 30 kgs of cocoon and sold it at Rs 400 per kg and earned Rs 12,000. The Sericulture department provided her short term training on pedal cum motorized spinning machine and even machine free of cost. She is most of the time engaged in eri silk spinning and spins about 21 kgs per year. She sells the silk yarn for  Rs 2500 per  per kg which fetches her around 52,500 rupees a year.  In addition to all these, she has separate weaving unit and weaves different types and design of eri silk finished products like Mekhala, Shawl, Muffler and earns around Rs 70,000 annually from selling the finished products. She earns around about Rs.1,70,000 from sericulture activities annually.
Neivizonuo manages 20 ha of farming land on which she grows paddy, maize, banana, citrus, seasonal vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, tomato, chilli, brinjal, potato, knol-khol, carrot, onion, tapioca etc. Good quality ginger and turmeric are also cultivated and harvested in large quantities. The urge to do something creative however promoted her to follow the techniques she learnt from the trainings and demonstrations she attended. Some of the innovative practices/techniques adopted in her farm are; adoption of SRI and rearing of ducklings in the transplanted paddy field, intercropping of maize and beans, Intercropping of maize and beans, potato intercropped with knol khol, use of mustard as trap crop in cabbage and broccoli, dried mustard plants used for mulching purpose, growing of diancha in ginger and pineapple field, and use of improved seed varieties and hybrids. Besides paddy and vegetable farming, Neivizonuo has established a poultry farm of 5000 capacity birds and at present rears about 2000-3000 birds per shift besides piggery and diary as additional activities. She revealed that her annual investment for a hectare of land is about approximately 30,000 rupees and she earns an annual net income of about 6 to 7 lakhs rupees from paddy grains and vegetables and an overall of about 9 lakhs from all the farm activities. The organic farm produce are sold in the local market and to whole sellers and even exported to other states. Today, Neivizonuo and her husband are not only outstanding achiever farmers but also resourceful farmer teachers sharing their practical experiences generously to fellow farmers and are esteemed as one of the best motivators for other farmers of Dimapur district.
Vihuli Zhimomi
54-year-old  Vihuli Zhimomi, a farmers friend from Niuland Block had keen interest to grow vegetables at her farm and  decided not to use chemicals to increase the yield but chose organic methods instead. In 2013, she approached the Dept. Of Agriculture (Niuland SDAO) for construction of a vermicompost unit which was accepted under RKVY Scheme and proper knowledge was further disseminated to her in the form of demonstrations and trainings conducted by ATMA Dimapur. She started practicing vermicompost and applied the manure in her vegetable farms and sold the vegetables at the nearest markets at the rate of 18 rupees per kg. She then disseminated the same knowledge to other women folks of her village and gradually after the women recognized her coordination and hard work, she along with 10 members formed FSG “Farm Women’s Food Security Group by ATMA Dimapur. This FSG group mainly concentrated on women farmers and encouraged them in backyard kitchen farming activities.  Achipi FSG’s main activity includes Vermi-composting in each member’s household and then selling the vermi-composts manure to the markets depending on demand by customers. Apart from this, the group also practices detergent powder making and grows vegetables which are all collected from each member’s farms and sold at the nearest markets in bulk.
Renlok SHG
Renlok SHG was established in October 2002, comprising of ten socio economically homogeneous women folks from Naga united village, Dimapur.  The members of this SHG are unemployed and were previously unable to contribute much to the economic position of the household by themselves. Unable to send their children to good schools due to financial constraints, they we decided to join hands and help each other, keeping in mind “self help is the best help”. Renlok as a group underwent various livelihood training programmes such as vermi-compost, smokeless chula, wire making, mushroom cultivation, weaving, flower making, kitchen gardening, fruit preservation and soap making etc. 
The group purchased a plot of land about 100 x 100 sq ft area in the village and different necessary household appliances were purchased annually. The income generating activities undertaken by the SHG are handmade aloe vera soap making, detergent making, liquid soap making, vermi-composting, mushroom production, petty shops and weaving etc.  ATMA, Dimapur played a vital role in creating various avenue for the group as well as building the team this far through various programmes, sending group member for the exposure trip to Kolkata in the year 2011,  and assistance extended for the promoting handmade aloe vera soap making, Mushroom cultivation and Vermi-composting etc. On October 15 this year, Renlok was awarded by Agricultural Technology Management Agency during Women Farmer’s Day.

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