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Get the farmers of Chamba back on their feet

Background
The agricultural sector is the largest employer in India's economy but the most neglected employees in India are farmers.
  • When there is no rain, there is no crop
  • When there is rain, there is no competitive market
  • When there is rain, there is crop, there is competitive market, there are no godowns to store the grain
In 2014, the National Crime Records Bureau of India reported 5,650 farmer suicides. This is only the official figure, and unofficial figures are far higher reflecting the gravity of the problem. 

He who produces the food is unable to afford the same food and dies of hunger. Multiple reasons are cited for farmer suicides, such as monsoon failure, high debt burdens, and dismal government policies. This year was one of the worst droughts in the country and yet very little is being done to address this problem systematically. 

About the project
Jardhar village near Chamba in Uttarakhand is facing the same crisis as the rest of the country with water shortages, and distress migration. Most farmers are now leaving the village in search of the better livelihood opportunities.

Parirakshan Organica has taken up the challenge to keep farming alive in the village and protect the interests of the farmers. This is envisaged by doing the following:
  • Engaging 34 farming families to pursue agriculture/farming with profits becoming self sustainable over a period of 3 years
  • Increase in net return to farmer from other allied activities
  • Market linkage for the backward and forward integration
The bigger idea is to bring dignity back to the occupation of farming and enable self sufficiency for the farmers.

Why should you help us?
Even after 69 years of Independence, India ranks abysmally at 97 in the Global Hunger Index. The rate of farmer suicides is only increasing year after year. We are importing tonnes of pulses from African countries. The root cause lies in our complete ignorance of the problems faced by farmers. We may soon see a day where we have to live on supplies from foreign countries while our farmers sell their land to become labourers. This is a call to everyone who realises that our children should not see a world where hunger and poverty is faced by those who are responsible to feed us.

Lets bring the farmer back on the front page. Lets do our bit.

How will the money be used?

S.No.
Inputs required and annual expenses projected
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
1
Agriculture Land  of area around 50 khet/8 to 10 begha
Available
NA
NA
2
Electric fencing and maintenance
400000
100000
50000
3
4 Rain water harvesting units and maintenance
300000
50000
NA
4
Buffalo, Bees, Organic Seeds etc
100000
20000
NA
5
Family basic living arrangements - food, medical, education etc
200000
100000
NA
6
Food processing machinery
300000
NA
NA
7
Documentation and recording of the project progress
100000
100000
100000
8
Training and Capacity building activities
100000
200000
NA

Total
1500000
390000
150000

LIST OF BENEFICIARY :


S.L No.Name of the Farmer
1Dhum Singh
2Avwal Singh
3Guman Singh
4Bablu Singh
5Yudhveer SIngh
6Naveen Singh
7Madan Singh
8Vachan Singh
9Vir Singh
10Parveen Singh
11Himmat Singh
12Shaad Singh
13Vishan Singh
14Suraj Singh
15Nek Singh
16Chand Singh
17Kalam Singh
18Vachan Singh
19Girveer Singh
20Jagveer Singh
21Ajwar Singh
22Satar Singh
23Yudhveer singh
24Kushal Singh
25Betaal Singh
26Bhagwan Singh
27Suraat Singh
28Karan Singh
29Shiv Singh
30Dhanshastra Singh
31Hukam Singh
32Ghurat Singh
33Sajal Singh
34Chandan Singh


Ask for an update
19th November 2016
Dear All, 

We thank you for your amazing support !

Our Capacity Building work has started. A meeting with farmers at Chamba was held with Mr. Kamal Jain our mentor
Kamal Jain, our mentor, has 20+ years of experience in Rural Livelihood Development Initiatives and has hard core experience of working with marginal farmers in the villages of Madhya Pradesh. He also played a pivotal role in creation of Samarth, one of the most successful Farmer Producer Organisations in Madhya Pradesh which enables the marginalized farmers by channelizing their produces directly to the market. Samarth is running successfully and he continues to guide and support the farmers of M.P. (refer to the youtube link on Samarth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u4lMEoRgyM)
He has reformed the farmer condition in these villages of M.P and it’s a matter of time when with the support from all our donors and contributors we shall be able to reinstate well-being and traditional farming conditions for our farmers in Chamba as well.
Key discussion points with farmers at Chamba
First the case study of Samarth was discussed with these farmers.
The focus group discussions that followed with these farmers, helped in identifying two major issues that require immediate attention - crop damage by wild monkeys and pigs and shortage of water. Another major issue that needs attention in ensuring self sufficiency for these farmers was providing adequate knowledge about the agriculture allied activities like apiculture (honey bee keeping), marketing and packaging of agriculture by products like pumpkin seeds and marketing of non-timber produce, etc.
In an in-depth interview with Rajni, head of mahila mangal dal in Jardhar gaon, provision of low watt fencing as a preventive step to protect crops form wild animals was agreed upon. She explained with pain and sorrow that, “This year I bought seeds worth Rs 1200 but the entire yield was destroyed by the wild animals especially wild monkeys and wild pigs. We have been trying hard to seek help from the government but in vain. Low watt electric fencing can provide a viable solution for dealing with this situation.”
In another interview with Magni Devi, it was revealed how even after spending a sum of Rs 2200 to buy seeds for pea crop this year, she could not get the expected crop yield due to shortage of rainfall. 
As a step ahead, a transect walk was made to their land, in Lounge, in Jardhar gaon and a seasonal diagram of the list of crops grown was made.
Prospective steps agreed upon by these farmers during the meeting are as follows:
  • Provision of low watt fencing as a preventive step to protect crops form wild animals was agreed upon. We are also exploring if a living fence may be implemented
  • The natural sources of  water that have dried up have been identified and a plan to have at least 3 rain water harvesting structures was agreed upon by all 34 farmers.
  • As a step ahead in ensuring livelihood options to supplement their incomes during lean periods from November to April, every year, a list of allied activities was chalked out.
  • As a very first step, apiculture was being agreed upon as the first major activity to be done by farm women.

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Beneficiary: 34 farmer famil... info_outline