Sustainable livelihoods To Farmers

Vision

Self reliant rural and tribal communities earning a sustainable livelihood from their natural resources that gives a dignified life and ensures family welfare.

Our Objectives

1) Food Security: To achieve self-sufficiency of food for each family by increasing productivity of traditional agriculture through organic farming.

2) Nutrition: To ensure balanced nutrition in the diet by promoting production of diversified food for self consumption.

3) Economic Development: To increase earnings of a family through the livelihood from natural resources by increasing productivity, diversification, reduced expenditure and effective market linkage.

4) Empowerment in Market Linkage: To empower communities to connect with the markets confidently by organizing them in to producer organizations.

 

Nirmaan emphasizes on a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all. Our work is associated with the following SDGs.

                                     

Introduction

Villages in the country are currently facing a severe agrarian crisis. Rising expenses, degrading soil, depleting ground-water, changing climate, undulating markets, increasing debts resulting in farmers suicides are some of the facets of this crisis. This has resulted in an overall increase in hunger, malnutrition, poverty and migration from the villages. We believe that agro-ecological approach towards farming, built on reviving ecosystems, organic farming, traditional seeds, reducing dependency on external inputs coupled with collectivizing farmers and connecting them to the markets can offer a promising solution to this crisis. With this approach since 2016, we are working in Dantewada, a remote, hilly and forested district based in south of Chhattisgarh, ill famous for the violence of Naxalism.

71 percent of the population of Dantewada is tribal dominated by Muria and Madia Gond communities known for

their rich traditional knowledge and culture. Our work focuses on strengthening agriculture based livelihood of the community, with the core objectives to achieve food security, nutritional security, income sufficiency and empowerment to deal with markets.

 

The context of our work

The tribals of Dantewada are dependent on forest and agriculture for their livelihood. The forest provides them with wild food, medicines, fire-wood, fodder and minor forest produce. Agriculture, on the other hand, is mainly practiced as a means of subsistence.

However, in spite of rich natural resources, these communities are facing issues of food insufficiency, malnutrition and low income. The loss of rights, degradation of forests and increasing population is putting stress on forest based livelihood. Agriculture on the other hand is low in productivity and not giving sufficient income to the families.

Due to external influences, though a few farmers have started chemical intensive farming, it has resulted in a loss of agro-bio-diversity and indigenous crop varieties, degradation of soil and increased expenses. With weak market connections, lack of collectivization and bargaining power they do not realize a fair value of their produce many times.

Program Description

Owing to the vision of enhancing food & nutritional security for people & income security to farmers, the program aims to help the tribal, small and marginal farmers to earn a sustainable livelihood from farming and the natural resources around them.The major aspects of this program are promoting organic farming and agro-ecological practices amongst farmers, conservation of traditional seeds, reviving diversity, improving productivity of traditional agriculture, collectivizing farmers and creating people’s institutions. The program is also focused on organizing value and supply chain, developing sustainable market linkages and effectively creating a strong ecosystem from seeds to fork for the indigenous organic produce of the farmers.

Nearly 10,000 Farmers from 120 villages of Dantewada are currently involved in this program with a team of 124 village level resource persons, master trainers and coordinators trained from the community we are working with.

 

Underlying Guiding Principles behind all our efforts

Key Activities

Organic Farming: Hand holding support to the farmers to adopt practices of organic farming and in-farm production of organic inputs

 Conservation of traditional seeds and facilitating their production, access and incentivizing cultivation through market linkage

 Promoting Agro-biodiversity: Promoting cultivation of pulses, millets, oilseeds, vegetables, tubers and spices which is gradually going down

 Improving productivity of traditional farming systems by promoting intensive management practices, techniques like SRI, usage of tools and Organic PoPs vegetables

Collectivizing Farmers into groups, village and cluster level committees and Producer Organization (FPO) at the district level

Developing value and supply chain, and creating market linkages for indigenous organic produce of farmers

Linking up various government programs to organic farmers to be able to create a comprehensive supportive ecosystem from seeds to market

 

Bhoomgaadi

Bhoomgaadi organic farmer’s producer company is an FPO collectively owned by the organic farmers of Dantewada aimed at
providing market linkage to their indigenous organic produce. Nirmaan has played an instrumental role in its inception and has been giving hand-holding and professional support to ensure that it becomes a viable and self sustaining enterprise in coming times.

Aadim

Bhoomgaadi is involved in aggregation, storage, value addition and market linkage of more than 30 types of organic produce of farmers. These products are currently marketed across India by Bhoomgaadi under the brand “Aadim”. There is also a “Jaivik Bazar” and “Café Aadim” being operated by Bhoomgaad in Dantewada that provides cuisine made from organic and traditional varieties grown by the farmers.

Our Impact

Team Involved

Akash Badave

Sagar Patil

 Jaswinder Singh

Hritgandha Deshmukh

Suresh Nag

Major Sponsors

Government of Dantewada (Chhattisgarh) Government of Adilabad (Telangana)
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