Small Holder Agriculture & Climate Change
01 Jul 2014 - 30 Jun 2017
Small Holder Agriculture & Climate Change
01 Jul 2014 - 30 Jun 2017
Post independence rural India was struggling to stand on its own. There was a flow of rural-urban migration, break down of village industries and self sufficient village communities. This posed constraint to rural development. This is the backdrop in which Nav Bihar Samaj Kalyan Pratisthan Kendra (NBSKPK) came with a pledge to serve, help and save the people of the area. The organization was recognized as a registered body under Societies Registration Act, 1860 in the year 1980, and a decade after, in 1990, it was also registered under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act of 1976. The organization was also registered under Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) government of India and came in the direct list in 1992.
Institution Development: NBSKPK aims to build a three tiered community organization. The 44 women farmers’ groups are at lowest tier, two block level federations are at middle and a district federation is the highest level community organization. The 44 women farmers’ group with 653 members formed at village level are the base of community. The farmers’ groups are engaged in various activities – making savings, getting trainings from different institutions (Krishi Vigyan Kendra, ATMA etc.), interface with government institutions and officials, financial institutions. Then they disseminate information and create knowledge related to agricultural practices, government schemes, women and land rights at community. Moreover, they facilitate small loans to the community people at a small rate of interest. The block federations are formed with the 44 members of women farmers’ group. Members of block federations constitute district federation. NBSKPK has facilitated block federation meetings quarterly. The district federation meeting is the bigger platform where the farmers discuss about quantity of production as well as selling of vegetables of the panchayats, CDAP process, how to access different government schemes.
Production Related Work: To improve the production and expertise of the women farmer capacity building trainings has been organized. 118 women farmer are capacitated on nursery development and production and storage to make them aware of better management practices of production (aimed not only to increase production but also ensuring quality of produces). 394 women farmers have established vegetable nurseries and developed vegetable demonstration plots. Trainings and other supports are given to the woman farmers so that they can make vermi-compost by themselves. Before, the initiation of the project, all of the female beneficiaries were unaware of the better farming practices. Now, 653 women farmers are aware of quality seeds (how to identify quality seeds and test the quality of seeds) and other inputs and their uses. They also know the source where these inputs are available. Woman farmers who were mainly producing cereals and vegetables (only for household consumption) are started vegetable production at comparatively larger scale.
Marketing Initiatives: Several capacity building trainings, exposure visits to successful farmers’ group has encouraged woman farmers to approach market for getting control over their produces. An initiative of supporting woman farmers by wooden basket, weighing scale & weighing weights has boosted their marketing capacity a lot. 127 women farmers are engaged in direct selling of vegetables in village road, block market and in Bihar Sharif mandi. Market is very much volatile that the production of the groups cannot make specific marketing strategy for intervention in market. Moreover, the production is not so large that it can influence the market. Thus, market information are collected and analyzed round the year to incorporate recent market trends and women farmers are informed about the trends. Two collection centers are initiated in two blocks. Collection centres are an initiative for collective marketing.
Advocacy Initiatives: This year, the project was focused on advocating the linkage with RKVY and its planning process, women’s land rights and recognition of women as farmers. 27 community meetings on C-DAP and RKVY and 5 cluster level trainings on women land rights and various provisions and planning process of RKVY have been organized by NBSKPK. In the trainings, the government institutions providing entitlements and benefits of different schemes/programmes are also mapped. District level interface with agriculture department and social awareness platforms on government schemes/programmes, especially women land rights have boosted the confidence level of women farmers. Woman farmers, who earlier themselves did not used to consider themselves as farmers, have now started realizing the need for their recognition. Earlier, they neither stepped outside nor they had the confidence to talk to unknowns. Now they are able to venture out for training, meeting and their families do not restrict them. IEC materials on various provisions of RKVY have developed a widespread awareness at community level. As a result of advocacy initiatives, interface and trainings – 1) 154 women farmers have taken benefits from government schemes and programmes like NFSM, NHM etc. 2) 100% of the members of women farmer groups are aware of about National Horticulture Mission, National Food Security Mission, Agriculture Road Map, RKVY and 40% of other women farmers (who are not in group) are aware of about these schemes/programmes.
Sakunti Devi, 45, is an inhabitant of Kandopur village of Giriyak block in Nalanda district. Mother of three children, Sakunti Devi is wife of Saudagar Yadav. She lives with her two sons, two daughter in-laws and grandchildren.
As a part of a large joint family, they had inherited small portion of family land merely 20 kattha which is not sufficient to support the expenditure of the family of 10 members. Thus, to earn more living, Sakunti Devi used to work as agriculture labour in nearby villages. Still, the income was scarce to give even two square meal everyday to the family members.
The onset of NBSKPK-Oxfam empowerment programme through livelihood in 2013 for smallholder women farmers in the area came as blessing for Sakunti Devi, it signaled the beginning of the end of tough times that she and her family had faced on daily basis. With the support from Oxfam, NBSKPK had made conscious efforts to engage women farmers of Kandopur village as Mahila Kisan Club (Women Farmer Group). In the group meeting, the women farmers discussed about their problems related to selling of vegetables. They told that while selling in nearby market, they got very low price, even lower than their cost of cultivation. NBSKPK organised several capacity building training on market related works for the women farmers and conducted group meeting with the women farmers of Kandopur on collective marketing of vegetables. Moreover, NBSKPK has also supported the women farmers by providing market information of Nawada market, Bihar Sharif Market, Rajgir market and Giriyak Market. After that, the women farmers of Kandopur decided to sell their vegetables and milk collectively and they selected Sakunti Devi as their leader. They also decided to sell their product in Nawada market.
Now, every day the group members of Kandopur plucked their vegetables in the evening, packed them in basket and sent the vegetable baskets and milk container in Sakunti Devi’s house. In the next day morning, Sakunti Devi goes to the auto stand with the goods and reaches Nawada market.