Improving Food Security for Tribal Farmers

 
$20,086
$19,914
Raised
Remaining
A farmer standing in his wheat farm.
A farmer standing in his wheat farm.

Dear Friends,

Many thanks for supporting this project and ensuring food security for tribal farmers of our region.

Seva Mandir's Food Security Program includes a range of activities designed to help people in improving their crop production. This is done by strengthening local community seed banks, increase horticulture, improve livestock health, and promote organic farming.

With your support: 

  • 340 farmers were selected to plant fruit trees following the Wadi (orchard) model in the third batch, compared with 300 and 360 farmers respectively in the first and second batches. The Wadi model includes plantation of 40 saplings of fruit trees (mango, lemon, pomegranate and aonla) and 120 saplings of forestry trees.
  • Soil and water conservation and water resource development activities were conducted with 179 farmers.
  • Farmers were encouraged to grow seasonal crops and vegetables, which enabled them to produce food and cash crops. Wadi farmers who grew vegetables and other cash crops as intercrops earned between Rs 3,000 and 7,000 by selling their vegetables in the market.
  •  A few farmers cultivated organic wheat. They sold their produce for Rs 20/kg compared with the market rate of Rs 16/kg for conventionally produced wheat.
  • 15 Community Seed Banks (CSBs) were maintained in Jhadol and Girwa blocks.

Thank you so much friends for your continuous help and support to our food security program. Your help really means a lot to us.

I will be writing again very soon.

Regards

Atul Lekhra 

Links:

Hopeful Babaji with his young Amla Sapling
Hopeful Babaji with his young Amla Sapling

Dear Friends,

Please meet Babaji, an old man living in Girwa block.

He owns a small piece of land on a hillside but its slope made it impossible to irrigate, so he couldn't cultivate it.

Without a livelihood in his village, Babaji resorted to going to the city to find employment as a labourer. But he's an old man and was unable to sustain heavy-duty work on the construction site.

Then Seva Mandir intervened to improve his land. Trenches were dug to retain rain water from the monsoon; amla (Indian gooseberry) and mango trees were planted, along with grass for cattle fodder; fencing was put up to protect the young plants from animals.

Today, he harvests the grass and has enough to feed his cattle. He sells any surplus in the market and has started a small tea stall with the money he makes. He is looking forward to the time when his trees start yielding fruit so that he can earn a little more.

Sharing his experiences, he thanks Seva Mandir for helping him become self-supporting. He is happy that he is able to stay in his village and no longer needs to migrate to the city to try to find work.

Simple measures made Babaji's small piece of land viable. You enabled him to make a living - and You restored his pride. 

Thank you for believing in Seva Mandir.

Regards

Atul Lekhra 

Please do follow us on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sevamandir 

Babaji
Babaji's Little Orchid on the Hill Slope

Links:

Dear Friend,

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Since 1968, Seva Mandir has worked with 360,000 people across 700 villages in south­ern Rajasthan, one of the world’s poorest regions, where people live on an average of USD 0.35 a day, to build cohesive and inclu­sive communities whose members are able to participate actively in the local decision-making which affects their daily lives.

Fostering democratic participation in the affairs of the community is the foundation for all of Seva Mandir’s interventions in the region and is a key element of its success in supporting deprived rural communities.

Seva Mandir has worked in partnership with these people, not only to improve their material well-being, but to build stronger and more ethical communities. Through its programs on governance, health, education, sustainable use of natural resources, women’s empowerment, youth development, child care and social enterprise, Seva Mandir makes a tangible and transformative impact. 

At Seva Mandir, very modest amounts of money go a very long way toward improving people’s lives, and our success has been recognized through a long list of awards and partnerships with distinguished funders and the Indian government.

We wish to thank you for your continued support.

Regards

Atul Lekhra

Please do follow us on https://www.facebook.com/sevamandir

Links:

Dear Friends,

Food insecurity, fully or partly, is an imperative concern of households in our region. According to a recent study, 10.2% households reported cutting or skipping meals in the last one year due to a shortage of food. However, this somewhat low figure belies the more serious situation that is most clearly revealed in the high rates of malnutrition amongst both children and adults. In this region, the size and quality of agriculture land cultivated by a household directly affects the amount and variety of food available for consumption. Furthermore, this being a drought-prone area with receiving scarce and erratic annual rainfall, access to sufficient irrigation facilities is another factor determining food security. Availability of all components constituting a daily staple food is important for fulfilling the nutritional requirements of the population.

Seva Mandir, through its interventions for watershed, water resources and agriculture development undertaken since last two decades, has been working to enhance the quality, i.e. productivity, of arable lands. Treatment of land and drainage-line together with creation of irrigation facilities- have significantly increased the productivity, while emergence of opportunities to take 2-3 crops a year increased the annual crop production for the families. In Dhala village where watershed was completed 3 years back, production of wheat of 24 farmers have risen to 239 qntl from 39.4 qntl of pre-project. Similarly, in another watershed village of Babri-Gadunia, farmers got 139.15 qntl of wheat that was hardly grown by them earlier. At the same time, in 14 Lift Irrigation System installed during last 5 years, wheat was grown earlier in the command areas of only 3 systems. Nevertheless, farmers of all 14 lifts grew wheat and obtained a production of 842.90 with the productivity of 12.64 qntl/ha.

Another major transformation that has happened through these activities is the change in cropping pattern in these associated villages. Earlier, only a few crops, like maize, black gram, rice, wheat, gram, mustard etc. were taken in monsoon and winter months. However, currently with better land conditions and availability of water, farmers have started taking new crops like pigeon pea, lusen, sismum, vegetables, barley etc. Some farmers who have more water are also taking the third crop in summer months. In a few places, farmers are also shifting onto cash crops, which are helping them in meeting the gap of cash. For example, in Damana, 16 farmers last year grew 82 qntl of Garlic with a market value of Rs. 2 to 3 lacs.

Change in productivity and production has contributed significantly in improving the food security of many households in these villages. Whilst we still lack enough data to substantiate this claim, during our interaction at various places, communities clearly shared that the need of purchasing food grains has reduced substantially for several families. Many of them do not have to buy their food grains from merchants, means a saving in their cash. At the same time, encouraging farmers to diversify their agriculture and providing them with vegetable seeds and fruit trees have benefited in two folds- households are getting green vegetables and fruits more in their food, and source of additional income is created mitigating their risk of being dependent on only one crop.

Some special studies will also be conducted to determine the impacts of our interventions on the food security of children, including change in their nutritional status. Further, a study was conducted by Seva Mandir in collaboration with SIPA, University of Columbia with an aim to develop a Toolkit for Assessing the Food Security in our region. The study helped in deriving various indicators- including nutritional status, which can be used to measure food security. We shall also try to include some of these indicators in our organisational programme monitoring and evaluation system.

Thank you so much Friends for your support.

Regards

Atul Lekhra 

Links:

Dear Friends,

Burhi is one of the 1000 women benefiting from our Wadi (small orchard) Project in the remote Guda village, Rajasthan.

A village where community is ruled by patriarchal norms, where land is never registered on the woman’s name, Seva Mandir has distributed wadi’s in the name of these tribal women. Burhi is the proud owner of her lemon, mango, jack fruit and vegetable wadi. Last year she earned Rs. 7,000 by selling vegetables. She is happy that now she can contribute to her family’s wellbeing.

These wadi’s are also providing food security to these tribal families. Before this, they had to migrate to neighboring states for employment and food. But with wadi’s on their own and support by Seva Mandir, these families are now self-sustained. This project is still in its third year and we hope to see the best of results by the end of seven year.

Thank you for your support.

Regards

Atul Lekhra

Links:

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Organization

Seva Mandir

Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
http://www.sevamandir.org

Project Leader

Priyanka Singh

Executive Director
Udaipur, Rajasthan India

Where is this project located?

Map of Improving Food Security for Tribal Farmers