Getting Established as a Rural Entrepreneur

Thirty six year old Ms. A.D. Tamara Kumudini, married to Mr. Samantha Perera and with 3 children hails from Pettagamwala in the Buttala D.S. Division. She is an active member of the Pettagamwala CBO and has received RLF funds for beekeeping and conservation farming along with attendant training in these activities under the Integrated Agriculture programme funded by HOPE International Development Agency (HIDA) and implemented by NGO Wellassa Kantha Sahayogitha Padanama. She has also received training in Cornerstones and technical aspects of dairy farming, being selected to receive a calf as a pass on participant in the dairy programme.

She has also been identified for training as a leader beekeeper to assist other participants in the beekeeping programme in Pettagamwela. She has taken four bee boxes. Tamara’s homestead where the beekeeping is being done is ideally located, with plenty of honey yielding flora available in the vicinity for a plentiful production of honey in the boxes been tended by her.

Tamara is a keen dairy farmer, having started around 4-5 years back, and now she has 8 cows in all, including 2 calves. Four of the cows are at present expecting calves. In the recent past she has been earning around Rs.15,000 per month from milk produced. Tamara has purchased two Jersey cows in the past using a loan obtained from Commercial Credit paying an interest of 28% p.a. This loan she has managed to repay already. Now she is awaiting a pass on calf.

Tamara, along with support from her husband and her two elder children makes fullest use of her one and half acres of land. The home garden produces spinach, green chilies and varieties of green leaves, using the cow dung from the cattle. This produce is used for domestic consumption while any surplus nets in a significant income as well.

Tamara is a typical role model for an integrated farmer in Buttala to follow, making optimum use of the resources she is blessed with, while also putting her enterprising spirit to the best possible use. While doing all this she has been able to share her skills with the rest of the community as well.