CANACONA: Satorlim, a hamlet nestled in the southern reaches of Canacona, is home to approximately 500 residents, predominantly tribal members who have woven the fabric of their lives around agriculture for decades. Initiating a community farming endeavour three years ago, 15 families comprising 35 members jointly contributed a Rs 30,000 investment, reshaping not only their village’s landscape but their destinies. Today, these families stand self-sustained, reaping the rewards of their toil.
O Heraldo travelled into the heart of Satorlim, exploring the fields and engaging with the community, uncovering a success story woven with the threads of government-backed agricultural schemes and expert guidance. "The growth of the farm and the cultivation is a reflection of dedicated hard work," expressed Molu Gaonkar with pride. He recounted the humble beginnings, where each family contributed a meagre two thousand rupees.
However, the subsequent expenses were shouldered by the revenue derived from their produce.
Cultivating a diverse array of crops, the group has become a beacon of agricultural ingenuity. From chillies to various vegetables, pigeon peas, and an assortment of root vegetables like yams, elephant foot yams, and taro, their fields are a mosaic of colours and flavours. Spices like pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon add aromatic richness, while fruits such as papaya and bananas grace the orchards.
The group has also diversified into cashew, coconut, paddy, and marigold cultivation, with ambitious plans to introduce Sandalwood and Bamboo in the future.
Subhash Gaonkar, another member in the group, acknowledged the invaluable support and technical guidance received from experts at ICAR. “From soil preparation to harvesting, our members have undergone comprehensive training, ensuring a holistic approach to agriculture. Our women are adept at handling modern agricultural equipment and coconut plucking, which otherwise was considered as a man’s job,” he added.
The heartbeat of Satorli's success lies in unity, a virtue embedded in the ethos of the Self-Help Group. Molu Gaonkar revealed the intricacies of their cooperative approach, where a rotation system ensures that every aspect of the farm is meticulously tended to. “Every week, a group of five members takes care of the entire farm—protecting it from wild animal attacks, ensuring proper irrigation, weeding, and maintaining cleanliness,” he shared. The ensuing profits at the end of the year are the fruits of their collective efforts, distributed equitably among all members.
Beyond the bountiful harvests and the economic sustenance derived from the land, the story of Satorli Self Help Group is one of resilience, camaraderie, and a shared vision for a greener, self-sustainable future. Their journey from barren fields to thriving farmlands is not just a narrative of agricultural success but a poignant testament to the transformative power of community-driven initiatives. As the sun sets over the emerald fields of Satorlim, it paints a portrait of hope and inspiration—an ode to the indomitable spirit of these farmers who have turned adversity into abundance.