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“I was mocked by many when I started farming”: Kerala woman on how 15-cent plot gave her financial freedom

Rubeena Shibu at her farm. Photo: Special Arrangement.

Rubeena Shibu, a homemaker from Palamel in Alappuzha, Kerala, never thought that a 15-cent plot in the backyard of her home would change her life for the better, transforming her into a financially independent woman.

Moving out of the confines of the four walls of the kitchen, this 38-year-old woman is now an enterprising entrepreneur earning a decent income not only by cultivating vegetables but also by making organic manure utilizing the available space on the plot. In fact, Rubeena is proud that her small venture has given her the financial freedom to equally support her husband in running the family.

Rubeena began her entrepreneurial journey by farming vegetables in 10 small grow bags. She also started rearing cows and hens in the available space. Though she initially sold the produce of her farm to neighbors and friends, soon word spread like wildfire, and people from distant places started inquiring about the freshly produced vegetables and other products.

“My husband is my best motivator and great supporter. He is now helping me to smoothly run my business my small farm started yielding results and the number of customers increased,” Rubeena told “Open Digest“.

Rubeena soon established a brand called Rubeena Nanma, which offers value-added food products under the name “Nanma Food” and an organic manure store under the name “Nanma Agro Bazaar Fertilizer Depot”.

“When I realized that people would wholeheartedly support us if we give quality products, I started farming flowers and honey,” Rubeena said.

Her venture also gave her the confidence to pursue her studies, which she had to give up following her marriage at a young age. She joined a diploma in farming and agriculture course at M G University.

“When I started my small farm, a lot of people discouraged me and mocked me, saying it wouldn’t work out. But I was not ready to give up. Now I am happy that I could silence my critics,” she said.

Rubeena also provides training to other women who are keen to start their own venture in farming. “Every woman loves to be financially independent, earning an income of their own. My aim is to empower all women to achieve their own financial security. It’s a different feeling of achievement for a woman when earning an income without having to depend on someone else,” she said.

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