Country: West Bengal, India
Occupation: Farmer, Mother

Meet Jerima. Jerima lives with her two sons and her husband, Deepak, a day laborer on the plains of Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India.

Jerima and her husband struggle to make ends meet on their meagre income. To supplement their income, Jerima farms a mico-plot of land which she calls her own.

“I received the land title and record of my rights to the land from the government about one and half years ago.”

Life is improving for Jerima and her family after receiving secure rights to the land, thanks to a government program supported by Landesa. Jerima and 41 other families in her village have received their own micro-plots of land, agricultural training, and vegetable seeds for cultivation in their gardens.

“They gave us tomato, chili, bitter gourd, and gourd seeds last year,” said Jerima. Produce from the garden helps feed her family.

This year, Jerima applied her newly learned farming skills to cultivate maize.

“Maize is profitable,” said Jerima, noting that it can fetch nine rupees per kilogram. She hopes to collect almost 1,000 kilograms at harvest time, valued at 9,000 rupees (approximately $140 USD) – a huge windfall in a place where many people live on less than $2 per day.

“The additional income from this micro-plot will help me take care of my family in a better way,” Jerima said. “Today I can better feed my children and ensure a better future for them also.”

This land actually solved many of my problems,” she continued. “Today, I have both the hope and the capacity to make my dreams come true.”