RAHI - Increase Rural Income
The short term and long term issue is the lack of adequate income in the villages of Bargarh, Odisha that needs to addressed. The incidences of farmers’ suicide are infamous in Bargarh. The farmers, entirely dependent on monsoon for irrigation, face myriad problems such as limited affordability to expensive fertilizers and pesticides, loans at high interest from private moneylenders and frequent production failure due to problems such as Brown Plant Hoppers (BPH) which has been destroying paddy crops leading to huge crop loss by farmers. The small and marginal farmers used to heavily supplement their agricultural income by working in nearby towns as daily wage workers, a choice no longer available due to COVID19 crisis. Few farmers used to work in petty shops, small hotels, road side businesses which have been severely affected in the lockdown. Also, markets of agricultural outputs have been disrupted and produce had to be sold at meagre rates. Families are overly dependent on migrant income from towns and cities which have taken a severe hit during COVID19 crisis. The small and marginal farmers are left with very little resources to carry out agricultural activities for Kharif season 2020.
In line with the philosophy of Rise Against Hunger India to build solution around microenvironments, RAHI is working with 600 farmers of 4 FPOs to create millets value chain. Millets have been strategically chosen as the crop for intervention as the area is drought prone ad millets are drought proof. Millets are not totally alien to the farmers as they used to grow millets but had moved to paddy and maize with the hope of earning more income. Major issues that need addressing are non-affordability of fertilizers, farm machinery and agricultural inputs. RAHI is helping farmers build organic fertilizers by methods such as vermicomposting. Custom Hiring Centres and Tool Banks are being set up where common machinery shall be provided which can be used by farmers by paying minimal rent. Seed banks is also being set up for provision and preservation of seeds. The rent collected shall be used by the FPO for maintenance of machinery and purchase other requirements. Provision shall be made for production units to create millet products such as millet powder and biscuits that fetch higher price in the market.
The expected impact is to build resilience to overcome systemic and idiosyncratic shocks that arise in future. RAHI is expecting a growth of 80-100 percent in production and 100 percent in income of farmers. This shall help in the overall growth of standard of living of small and marginal farmers in Bargarh. This shall reduce their dependence on migrant income and create opportunities within the village. Migration creates immense vulnerability for the migrants as was highly visible at a national scale during the COVID19 crisis. With adequate income available in villages, the need for migration can be stopped and the cycle of poverty reversed. With additional income, the dependency on money lenders shall also reduce. With reduced economic vulnerability, the farmers shall also achieve more confidence to take part in socio-political issues and overall welfare of the village. The environmental impacts are also significant as millets consume much less water than other crops and can help improve the water table of the villages. Millets are also rich sources of phytochemicals and micronutrients and shall also improve nutrition levels of villagers.
- Top Donors
- Recent Donors
- Top Donors
- Recent Donors