MDI: Enhancing Household Incomes

MDI: Enhancing Household Incomes from Diversified Farming

Sushila Devi, a first-time farmer, ventures into farming using the MDI technology and is reaping rich dividends.

Sushila Devi (41) is a resident of Siyartoli village in Itki block of Ranchi, Jharkhand. She studied upto IXth std and was married in the year 1995 to Ram Kumar Sahu, who owns an oil processing unit. With the passage of time, Sushila became a mother to four children comprising 3 girls and a boy. Sushila was leading a life of a housewife when, in the year 2018, she came to know about Self Help Groups (SHGs) running under the fold of Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS). She became member of Ugta Kiran SHG in February 2018. Says Sushila, “One of the good things that happened to me after joining SHG is that I started saving, which I was not doing earlier.”

Jharkhand Horticulture Intensification by Micro Drip Irrigation Project (JHIMDI)

Siyartoli village was selected under JHIMDI project running under the tutelage of JSLPS and funded by Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA). The project is targeting 30,000 farmer households across 9 districts of Jharkhand. The farmers to be supported under the project should be members of SHG formed by JSLPS and own or lease small farmlands. The project adopts a holistic approach wherein farmers are provided with MDI system, poly nursery house and vermicompost unit along with intensive training on horticulture and marketing. The project’s objective is to enhance household income with diversified farming and on-farm activities, capacity building of community on improved MDI technology and Package of Practices of crops for wider dissemination of technology. Jharkhand is a state which faces water crisis, and the MDI project is a boon for farmers in the state.

Some SHG members, including Sushila Devi, were selected for an exposure visit to Boriya village of Kanke block, to see the results of MDI farming. Looking at the results, Sushila became interested in adopting the MDI technology for farming.

The unique thing about Sushila was that she had never done farming before. This was the first time and she ventured into farming and that too by adopting modern techniques. She took a loan of Rs 10,000 from her SHG and invested Rs 5,000 from her own pocket to deposit in her Itki Siyartoli Village Organization to avail the services of MDI system, poly nursery house and vermicompost from JHIMDI project of JSLPS.

Work Implementation

Initially, Sushila sowed tomatoes and cucumbers together in her field of 25 decimal. Cost of production included infrastructure cost, labor cost, manure cost and mulching cost. Next, Sushila planted peas, this time the cost was incurred only on seeds, while the other things remained the same.

Cost Benefit Analysis

S.No. Vegetables Cost of Production Income earned Profit Profit %
1. Tomatoes and Cucumbers 21,604 41,114 19,510 90
2. Peas 10,422 43,978 33,556 322
3. Total 32,026 85,092 53,066 166
4. Total including contribution cost of Rs.15,000 47,026 85,092 38,066 81


In a span of two months, Sushila managed to earn Rs 41,114 from the cultivation of tomatoes and cucumbers through MDI; earning 90% profit. Next, the profit earned in three months through the cultivation of peas was Rs 33,556, triple the cost of production. Overall, in a span of 6 months, Susila managed to earn Rs 53,066 as profit (excluding the contribution cost of Rs 15,000 for MDI system).


Sushila is very happy with her achievements. She has not only carved a name for herself but has also helped her son set up a tailoring business. Her son Akshay Kumar Sahu, after being trained under DDU-GKY programme of JSLPS, has commenced a stitching business in the village. He has set up a small factory with 8 sewing machines and 8 to 10 workers. He has taken a loan of Rs 21 lakh under Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP). Sushila is helping him in paying the EMIs.

Sushila said, “Earlier I was helpless. Now, I have something of my own and I can support my family as and when required. I will continue doing farming through MDI and now I will be cultivating pumpkins. The good thing about MDI is that it reduced the cost of production, as in one sowing we can harvest three to four different types of vegetables in a year.”