Safia’s Homestead: A source of additional Income

Safia bibi, a smallholder farmer from village 36/SB of Sargodha district in Pakistan has come a long way. With her son working as daily wage laborer, the only other income comes from selling milk in her village.  Motivated by SAFBIN awareness and capacity building sessions on various topics that included farm diversification, green manuring and pulses integration, balanced diet & nutrition, she decided to start her own organic vegetable farming. Safia obtained one kanal piece of land (505 square meters or 605 square yards) on lease in 2020 for vegetable cultivation. She started producing different summer and winter vegetables and was able to sell most of the vegetables in her village.  In the recent summer season, she harvested beans, pumpkin and lady finger from her homestead garden. On an average she earns PKR 6000 to 7000 per month from selling these vegetables. Apart from this, she continues to sell milk from two buffaloes, one of them is milking and she is able to collect 5-6 liters of milk daily. She keeps 2 liters milk for domestic consumption and sells rest of the 4 liters in the village and earns PKR 8500 per month from milk. Safia has now also introduced medicinal plants in her homestead.

Safia along with 119 other smallholder farmers of her village have been attending various capacity building sessions participated  on improving soil fertility, efficient use of natural resources, pulses integration for nitrogen fixation and protein intake; and consuming nutritious foods for balanced diet.

Farmers like Safia are observing positive changes in their nutrition, income and marketing.  Safia is now aware that it is important to maintain good health by consuming fresh and safe vegetables and dairy products. Introducing Vegetable component in her farm has not only  become an additional source of income, she does not need to travel to local market which keeps her safer during these difficult pandemic times. Selling her farm products in the village, she does not need to depend on middleman and is able to save any transportation cost.