When Jyoti Tank steps out of her tractor and walks through her farm in Mundra’s Mangra village, she beams with pride as she shows off a healthy, organic crop of varied gourd vegetables. Diminutive and slight, Jyotiben makes an unlikely farmer. Farming, she admits, was never in her plans. She was happy keeping home for her husband, Jitendra Tank, and looking after their son but her husband’s cancer diagnosis caught them unaware.
She put in all her time and money in his treatment and in between, tried to manager day-to-day farm matters. However, the cancer was at a late stage and he succumbed. Widowed so tragically, Jyoti refused to be intimidated by her new responsibilities and decided at once to do away with chemical fertilizers. On the advice of a friend, she approached Krushi Vigyan Kendra and the Adani Foundation in Mundra where she took a course in organic farming, learning how to prepare manure from earthworms and cow dung. She began farming her four acres of land with organic fertilizer she prepared herself. The foundation gave her the equipment she needed to get started, including sprinklers for drip irrigation. She joined a ‘Farmers Interest Group’ (FIG) through ATMA (Agricultural Technology Management Agency), a government scheme.
Jyotiben’s small physical stature cannot mask her strength. She has made a success of her life, has educated herself to become a progressive farmer. She is an example to other women that anything, even against the most imposing odds, is possible.