Sprinkled with picturesque valleys and green fields, North Bengal houses several agrarian communities. Being cut off from major cities and towns, agriculture is the way of life here. Katiahat and Bhaduria are two such districts- most of the families residing here are engaged in paddy cultivation, which gives them the highest revenue. Jute, banana and potato cultivation are also popular.
The average monthly income of such families is less than $120 as a result of which the land they work on is usually on lease. Due to their hand-to-mouth situation, the families try to cut down on labour costs by ensuring that all family members work on the field. Children, after returning from school, help out their parents with farming. With such conditions, availing loans to better their prospects has been difficult. However, BJS has been supporting women and their families in this area by providing them with agricultural loans.
Through this project, these agrarian communities of North Bengal will benefit socio-economically. The loan amount will not only help them purchase seeds, manure and other necessary tools for farming, but also reduce dependence on monsoon by helping them invest in other ways of irrigation. As the women of the households would be the recipients of funds, it will go a long way towards empowering them and helping them find their own financial footing.