My dream: “To help raise standards of living in my village”
When TechnoServe asked the village of Suravaram to nominate a Lead Farmer to help implement its Walmart Foundation-supported Sustainable Livelihoods program, Mottadam Jogiraju was the obvious choice.
The father of three has farmed his hilly smallholding near Chintapalli in Visakhapatnam district, as his parents did before him, for more than 26 years. Like most of his neighbours, he produces coffee, as well as turmeric, black pepper, peanut and rice. He is also a longstanding member of the local Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) and well respected for his work ethic and good advice.
As one of 100 Lead Farmers in the region, Mottadam looks after between 10 and 20 farmers in his village. He makes a point of connecting with each of them during the work day, and holds informal get-togethers in the evening, in addition to looking after his own crops and livestock.
“As a Lead Farmer, I’ve received training from TechnoServe on procurement, marketing and post-production techniques. One of my tasks is to check the quality of our cherries—the fruit of the coffee tree—using a high-tech digital moisture meter, so we can sell them at the optimal time. I am happy and proud to be able to help my fellow farmers in this way,” he says.