Improving Food Security for Tribal Farmers

 
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Jun 6, 2014

Your Support is Changing Lives

Dear Friends,

Today is World Environment Day, so I thought of sharing with you a good story of Jardaya village.

Experience sharing of Jardaya Pastureland development by Mohan Lal

Mohan Lal is a resident of Jardaya village in Kumbhalgarh block. Mohan Lal has a family of ten members amongst whom 5 are male and 5 are female. In livestock he consists of 2 buffalo, 2 ox, 3 cows and 20 goats.

In this paper Mohan Lal has shared his experience of a Jardaya pastureland spread in an area of 85 bighas.

During the discussion Mohan Lal shared that before this land was developed as a pastureland, the land was seen to be as a wasteland. The land was of no use, only animal wander and used to rest here. Also there was always a fear of encroachment to be done by the villagers who many a times construct pits or do fencing of the area. Looking at the speed and frequency of the encroachments it seemed that the land will disappear slowly and will be of no use to the villagers. There was also a fear that the land will be undertaken by the political parties or by other powerful people of the village.

In the year 2008, some development work was done under NREGA (a government program) on this pastureland but due to completion of allotted budget incomplete boundary wall was constructed along with a check dam and few jatropha seeds were sown. There was always a discussion done in the Village Development Committee meetings that this land should be closed and protected at the same time or else even the stones of the boundary wall constructed will also be stolen.

A proposal was thus written and given to Seva Mandir to carry out the task whereas; revenue records and trace maps were obtained for the same. Following this, a survey was done by Seva Mandir people along with their engineer visiting and inspecting the site. An estimated budget of Rs 2.85 lakh was prepared in which investment was shown to be done in activities like boundary wall construction, developing trenches, pit digging and plantation. All the activities were successfully carried on. 

After sanction when work was started, the illegal encroachments were removed from the site by village committee due to which about 2 hectares of land was cleared. The activities like Plantation, pit digging and developing trenches were completed in June 2011. A sum of 6360 saplings was planted in July 2011 with the onset of monsoon. The task was undertaken with quality of work and was accomplished timely. The Pastureland is attached to a road that lead to Damar which has a bridge built over it through which livestock enters into the developed pastureland and thus, destroys the plants. The part was then protected by the wire fencing.

After completion of the task in this pasture land it can be said that earlier in this land only stones were seen but now there is greenery all around. The view of this gives peace to heart. This year due to protection and proper soil-water conservation custard apple plants become able for fruiting. There is good regeneration of grass species. Villagers are now this year planning to harvest during November-December. The protected and regenerated Rungiya plants developed good leaf foliage which also helps as fodder for small ruminants. Earlier, due to less availability of fodder I was not willing to keep livestock but now I am thinking of buying a buffalo.

After plantation, number of meetings was organized with villagers to develop protection and management systems. After 2-3 meetings, a guard Deva ji was appointed by village committee to guard and protect the planted pastureland. They also decided to give 4 kg food grains by each family/ year to Deva ji for protecting the pastureland. They also decided that anybody tried to harm the pasture or planted tree, he will deposit Rs. 500 as penalty in Village Development Fund and Rs. 101/cattle by the owner.

During the period January to June, the 300 feet damaged boundary wall was repaired by villagers by their own contribution. Sums of 2500 saplings were also replanted in July 2012.

I sincerely feel that if this pastureland was not been developed our children would have only seen encroached lands as this was done speedily in the villages. Also, this year MGNREGA (a government employment program) work has not been taken in our village and thus there wasn’t any employment opportunity but due to the work of pastureland every family got employed.

Future plans:

Due to availability of fodder villagers will be encourage to keep livestock. Fruits obtained from the land will be sold and the money will be deposited in the Village Development Fund which further can be utilized for village development or any important task of the villagers. Fuel wood availability will also be easy and accessible.

This activity will also have good impact on environment as the mining work has been started in the nearby private lands which is destroying the ecological balance and this activity will bring greenery and life to the place and will be a boon for all 145 families residing in this village.

Mohan Lal concluded by saying that ”It has been our prior responsibility to protect and maintain this pastureland for coming years.”

Thank you so much friends for supporting our program, which is changing so many lives.

Regards

Atul Lekhra 

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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