Success Story: Meet Dandu Bhulaxmi

Organic farming in India has enormous potential to uplift smallholder farmers. Dandu Bhulaxmi is a 56 year-old woman from Thimmapur village in Telangana, India where she lives with her husband, three sons, and her daughter. She is also a farmer – along with her husband she farms tomatoes, beans, chilies, and cabbages on a three-acre plot of land. Before joining the UNDP-funded Siddipet Horticulture Project, implemented by Tanager, Dandu and her husband struggled to produce and sell high-quality vegetables.

“We have been doing farming as a source of income, but the high cost of agri-inputs and associated health hazards have always been a worry, but then we have no other option.”

The Siddipet project was designed to help farmers like Dandu improve soil health, increase yields, improve safety, and ultimately boost incomes. In Jan 2017, Dandu began receiving training from Tanager’s team on organic farming practices. To improve soil health, Dandu was taught how to prepare and apply organic bio-fertilizers and natural pesticides including Jeevamrutam, Ghanajeevamrutam, and Agniastram. Dandu also learned how to use pheromone sticky traps to control insects and adopted tested organic farming practices like the tomato staking method, drip irrigation, and using mulching sheets for growing cabbages.

Tanager also works to connect farmers like Dandu to buyers. Dandu joined the Bhulaxmi Mutually Aided Cooperative Society, an all women-led Farmer Producer Organisation, organized by Tanager. Through that cooperative, she supplies whole tomatoes (1200 kgs), beans (2500 kgs), and cucumbers (1500 kgs) to organized buyers like Big-basket, Reliance, and Metro.

Tanager is proud to support organic farming in India. Today, thanks to the Dandu’s hard work, UNDP’s commitment and Tanager’s expertise, Dandu’s farm is thriving. “I am really thankful to Tanager, for introducing me to farming techniques that not only reduced my cost of cultivation, but also improved the taste and quality of the vegetables. Now I am supplying to big buyers based out in city (Hyderabad) I never thought of. I made a profit of INR 12,000 from half-an-acre land last Kharif season. Thank you Tanager”.