Rural Extension Worker in India Increases Access to Training
MADHYA PRADESH, INDIA — Komal Yadav has been farming for 17 years in Dakaychya, a village in the Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh. She used to produce commercial field crops like wheat and soybean on her family’s 5-bigha (2.5-acre) plot. Vegetable cultivation was less common in her village due to periodic scarcity of water.
Komal was also a social worker for her village’s Anganwadi (a government center that focuses on children’s and women’s health and nutrition), where she educated women and children on nutrition. In 2020, she joined East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer Foundation India as a Rural Extension Worker. Rural Extension Workers are an extended part of the EWS-KT family who partner with us to expand the availability of training to local farmers.
Komal was trained on sustainable vegetable production techniques by the EWS-KT India team. With this learning, she started producing vegetables in a 400-square-meter area with minimal use of water and fertilizers. She was thrilled with the outcome and was excited to share her new knowledge with her fellow farmers. Now she trains farmers on raised-bed preparation, the importance of sticky traps and other methods of insect and pest management, water management, and biopesticide preparation.
“Training and working with other farmers on techniques shared by the EWS-KT team gives me immense satisfaction because I am helping the farmers to increase their yield and income.”
– Komal Yadav
Komal supports farmers in seven villages in the Dewas district by helping them improve their vegetable cultivation skills. She has trained over 2,000 farmers since 2020 under the guidance of the EWS-KT team.
She is especially eager to share her knowledge with other women, whether they are commercial farmers or have a small home garden to supplement their family’s food supply. She has helped women in the villages to set up kitchen gardens and increased their awareness of the nutritional value of vegetables. She has also trained over 600 women in vegetable production and supported them on their commercial farms.
“Traditionally, females in my villages do not actively participate in farming. My family has been very supportive in allowing me to manage our commercial plot. Their support is my biggest strength and the reason for my successes,” she said.
Through EWS-KT, Komal has become not only a successful vegetable farmer but an expert educator who is excited to share her knowledge and provide guidance to the farmers in her community.