During our transect walk through Chataniha, a village in Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh, Ramkali and Munni explained how their lands were losing topsoil due to ploughing and subsequent rain. The same issue was raised by many other villagers such as Budhni, Sugmanthy and Bitty Panika in the meeting held after the walk.
Banita Tipiria, a daily wager from Khalapada village in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, is spoilt for choice when it comes to her family’s meals. Growing organic brinjals, chillies, bottle gourds, ridge gourds, ladies finger and leafy greens in her own nutri-garden, Tipiria has enough to choose from to feed her family.
Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN) is India’s foremost agency working on large scale rural poverty alleviation. The Non-Government Organisation (NGO) works on scale with its expertise in thematic areas of agriculture, livestock, natural resource management and micro-enterprise promotion.
Taking the successful models and lessons of women’s empowerment and rural economic development from the SHGs in India and applying these in Mali, a region facing similar environmental and socio-economic challenges, is an encouraging example of global collaboration and kinship
Agriculture employs 42% of the total work force whereas it contributes only 16% to the country’s GDP. The average annual growth rate in agriculture has remained static to 2.9% since the last six years. This means that the post-green revolution conventional agriculture has reached its peak. Responsiveness of soil fertility to fertiliser application, an indicator of stagnancy in agriculture, shows declining trend since 1970. The worst sufferer has been the small and marginal farmers who constitute 86% of total farmers.
Twelve-year-old Premlal and his friends spend hours every day in the paddy fields of their village Bhinjain in Chakai block of south Bihar. It is monsoon and the children use an age-old technique of blocking water in paddy fields by putting up barriers. The water is then drained out, leaving behind large puddles. Since fishes reach fields with rain water during monsoon, children can easily catch them. Premlal is a Santhal, member of the scheduled tribe largely concentrated in Jharkhand, Bihar, Tripura, Odisha and West Bengal.
Recognizing the importance of having a perennial source of water when planning any agricultural activity and change, the women of Kelaur, India installed solar energy-powered water pumps, allowing them to cultivate vegetables and fruit in their homesteads, which brought about a sea-change in their economic status and self-sufficiency.