Promotion of Sustainable Agriculture
YRA has been undertaking the Integrated Sustainable Natural Agriculture Programme (INSAP) since 2002 and has been promoting sustainable agriculture and organic farming through various interventions. This intervention has a spread of 100 villages in four districts namely Amravati, Washim, Akola and Buldana in Vidarbha. Focus is also given on the promotion of agro-allied activities to ensure additional income for farmers. The interventions under INSAP project minimized farmers’ dependence on expensive technologies and inputs (chemical fertilizers and pesticides, expensive seeds, including genetically modified ones). Soil erosion caused by water and wind is checked; collection and growth of traditional seeds is stressed. As a result, input costs dramatically decreased. In fact, farmers reported that their costs had dropped to negligible levels. At the same time, nourishment and protection of the soil, yield levels have been maintained, leading to healthier net incomes. Under this programme, Package of Practices (PoP) for six main crops in Vidarbha, namely Tur, Jowar, Cotton, Soybean, Chana and Wheat, have been developed. Thousands of farmers are benefitted from this project. The interventions in project form are withdrawn currently which could be started in new context- business model
Farmer’s Producer Company
YRA has promoted and registered a Farmer’s Producer Company called as the Vidarbha Agriculture Producer Company Ltd. (VAPCL). The total numbers of share holders are 537 which is involved in the procurement and processing of Tur Daal and also in the sale and purchase of Soybean. Plans of expansion of VAPCL and including Cotton Ginning Unit are in place. Under the program of Govt. of India- MSP Procurement of Tur and Chana, through SFAC- Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium, VAPCL supported to procure worth 11.5 crore material last year. VAPCL, this year is in agreement with Mother Diary for procuring Tur from selected small farmers on higher prices.
Desi Cotton Initiative
YRA initiated an activity in collaboration with Central Institute for Cotton Research, (CICR) Nagpur and distributed Deshi Cotton Seed to about 40 selected farmers in last kharip. The results are very enthusiastic. Further planning is done for procurement of deshi cotton and processing through VAPCL with an objective of farmers getting more income. In next year this initiative will be expanded.
Wadi Program for Trabal Families
Twelve tribal villages in Jalgaon Jamod and Sangrampur taluka of Buldhana district with 500 farming and 50 landless families are the direct beneficiaries of this project. The main goal of this intervention is to improve the standard of living of the tribal people and bring about tribal development through the Wadi approach in a participatory and sustainable manner. This is financially supported by NABARD under Tribal Development Fund. The focus is given on promoting the components of the Wadi model including orchard development, soil and water conservation, sustainable agriculture and organic farming practices, women’s development, Community health etc. We completed successful one and half years of this 7 years project. NABARD is willing to expand partnership with YRA for more number of tribal families covering if any corporate is ready for CSR contribution.
Diversion Based Irrigation Program
YRA developed 16 such diversion based irrigation units with active participation of farmers in Ramtek, Umrer and Saoner blocks of Nagpur district. Totally 150 farmers have been benefited and 543 acres of land have been brought under irrigation. As a result of these systems, all the farmers have started cultivating Rabi crops such as Wheat, Chana and vegetables, which they were unable to cultivate before due to the lack of water. Due to water availability from this units the farmers have cultivated higher quality of Rice and fetched higher yield (18-20 quintals) and higher market prices. The income of the farmers has gone up by at least 20-25% because of this intervention.
Small Ruminants Based Livelihood Assurance
This intervention is basically strengthening local Support Mechanism in Extensive Livestock Production System in Rain-fed Area covering 10 villages of Ramtek block of Nagpur district. The basic aim is to improve coverage of primary animal healthcare services and surveillance activities for 600 HHs in 10 villages with regards to goat rearing and 500 HHs back yard poultry management towards increased economic benefits. Also to evolve beneficiary’s institutional mechanism for self reliant sustainability in the end intervention period and lastly to influence policy and programs at local, district and regional/ state level that replicate this model of primary animal healthcare services for nutrition security and livelihood support. YRA is ready to expand this in seven more clusters, if funding support assured.
Promotion of Bio-Gas Units – Climate Change Mitigation Initiative
YRA explored an opportunities in the area of climate change and clean development mechanism and started its intervention in 206 villages of seven blocks of seven districts of Vidarbha. Total number of families selected ones for direct interventions would be around 15000. Through the CDM intervention, YRA wishes to intervene in the area of construction of biogas plants to address the issues of energy. This will enable poor people gain a source of organic manure to be used as agricultural input for the farming families and also provide a clean source of fuel for cooking and lighting and thus reduce the load on forests and farm wastes. It is also going to promote a technology that would make a positive impact on the health of women and children by reduced exposure to smoke and harmful particles while cooking and provide a clean and economically beneficial method of disposal of cow dung, farm and kitchen wastes, etc.
Community Forest Rights Under FRA
YRA is successful in facilitating Community Forest Rights (CFR) and eight villages from Gondia and thirteen villages from Bhandara district got community forest rights over more than 8000 ha Forest land. With the help of local community 6 villages Management Plans have been developed and recently we received support for convergence of Government schemes in six villages. New support can help us to take the process in all 13 villages on making Management plans and implementing those through the government. Tribal people will conserve the forests at one hand and will get their appropriate rights as their livelihood on other.
FUTURE PLANS (Mainly related to Livelihood promotion)
Looking at the scope, need and demand from the beneficiaries, we would like to continue our interventions on- Promotion Sustainable agriculture through business model to bring the farming community out of the track.
Expansion of Farmer’s Producer Company so as to small and marginal farmers gaining more income.Expansion of Desi Cotton production that is required for surgical items.Preparing and Implementation of Management Plan of 13 villages
- Women’s skill training to increase their income.
- Youth skill training to increase their income.
- Replication of small ruminants based livelihood assurance initiatives.
- Developing diversion based irrigation systems (PHAD systems )
- Women’s Empowerment- socioeconomic and political.
Yuva Rural Association