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VEGETABLE SKILLS TRAINING – Women’s Cooperative Society

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We have been supporting the Women’s Cooperative Society (WCS) for the past 15 years. This year we will support three –4-day training, two elementary and 1 advanced.

Each workshop invites between 30 -35 women to take part, all are from low income or unemployed.

During the training period, the women are instructed on how to prepare the ground; sow seeds; which are the most profitable vegetables to grow; how many yields per annum they can reap from their plot; how to make organic pesticide; manage their finances.

In April, Shona aged 22, took part in one of the elementary trainings. She is married and lives with her husband, 3-year-old daughter and her mother-in-law. She is a housewife, while her mother-in-law and husband both have jobs. Shona took out a loan with WCS to rent a plot of land -10 ropani which is around 3422.5 sq. feet. From this she earns between 50,000-60,000Nrs (£350) a year by selling the potatoes she grows. By taking the training offered by WCS she has learnt so much more about seasonal and none seasonal vegetable farming, which are the most profitable crops, and about rotation. She was excited to attend the training and now wants to put into practice all she learnt. She said she felt empowered to be contributing towards her family’s finances.

Ritu is 27 years old and a mother of two-a son aged 11 and a daughter of 7. Her husband has worked abroad for the past three years so he can send money home to his family. Both her children go to a village school. Ritu also took out a loan with WCS and rents around 5476 sq. feet of land. She gets up at 5.00 a.m. and walks to her nearest town with the vegetables she has grown which is a three hour round trip. She carries a doko(large basket carried on the back)and goes from house to house asking if they want to buy her vegetables. She does this every day from June/July-Oct/Nov. She earns around Rs10,000-12,000 a month –(£70 per month). She had learned farming by herself, so much was guesswork. She was thrilled to be given a place on one of the WCS training workshops. From the training she would be able to earn far more with the skills she learnt; how to maximise the amount of vegetable she grows, looking at what is in season, which is the most profitable vegetables to grow and how to manage her finances. To attend the training, Ritu needed to walk an hour and a half each way. She was awarded a prize for coming first in the test each trainee takes at the end of the course. One very happy lady!

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