Rajabai and Sonabai from Majhgawan block of Satna district received the First and Second Best Farmer prizes for establishment of wadi on 0.4 ha land under the Tribal Development Fund of NABARD.
Life for Rajabai Gond of Chithara village, was a struggle after the death of her husband. Sonabai from Devlaha village was forced to migrate with her husband to support the family. To transform their lives, both of them joined the wadi programme whereby they planted 10 plants of mango, 20 plants of papaya, 30 plants of anola and 200 karonda saplings on 0.4 ha. Seeds of seasonal vegetables crops such as pea, tomato, brinjal, gourd, bitter gourd, onion and moong were distributed to them as intercrops. Deepening of well by a group of neighborhood farmers led to protective irrigation of their orchards and year-round vegetable production. To protect their orchard from wild animals, they erected a barbed wire fence. From an earlier annual income of INR 20,000, they started earning INR 250 to INR 300 every day by selling vegetables. They are now able to access information on various Government schemes and their benefits for improvement of their wadi. Rajabai and Sonabai have inspired many other women farmers who now consider wadi as their hope for the future.