Lakshmiben Dabhi is a seasoned farmer, lives in a joint family situated in Kharakdi, District Bhavnagar and owns five bighas of land and is responsible for feeding eight members of her family.

She belongs to a community of small landholdings, relied on sharecropping and agricultural labour for their livelihoods.

She did non-farm occupations but could not meet her end needs. She finally decided to change and initially started vegetable farming with green chillies, eggplant, bottle gourd and land finger—faced difficulties due to unknown weather conditions and limited knowledge of cropping methods.

In April 2018, she attended a meeting organised by Utthan in her village. It caught her attention as the project emphasised using innovative methods and new techniques to uplift vegetable farming to greater heights. She volunteered as a demo partner and implemented the demo in 0.25 “bighas” of her land for the same. In August 2019, she participated in related training and got equipped to undertake bottle-gourd cultivation through the double-layered vegetation. Even the excess rains in August didn’t damage her crop as the bottle gourds remained all safe on the higher levels. The “Maandvaa” productivity touched 70 Kgs, and she netted INR 15000 in just two months. Usually, unseasonal rains in October 2019 were dreadful for local farmers, but Lakshmiben’s “Maandva” could withstand everything. Utthan provided her financial support of INR 6000, which helped to be part of this training. She is obliged to Utthan for this opportunity which enabled her to rise and shine.