Bihar is basically an agrarian society, more than 80% of the population is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture and animal husbandry which constitutes the main economic activity. Landlessness is high among marginalized communities, large scale out-migration of workers to other prosperous states, almost from every single poor household, in search of employment and better wage is becoming quite rampant in the state which also brings with itself the associated socio-cultural problems.
PHIA Foundation started a project in partnership with Samagra Shikshan Evam Vikas Sansthan, network partner based in West Champaran district, Bihar. The project aims to enhance skills, income and well-being of Dalit communities through improved vegetable cultivation practices and establishing a sustainable model of vegetable platforms promoted by 200 Dalit families (including 70 Women headed families) in 6 villages of Nautan and Lauria blocks of West Champaran district.
Objective of the programme is –
- To support socio-economic empowerment of Dalit communities through sustainable livelihood platforms leading to financially secure and productive lives free from discrimination
- Building capacity and skills among the community members to manage producer’s collectives/federations.
Expected Outcomes of the project are –
- 200 Dalit families start vegetable farming after shifting from their previous practice of landless laborer to cultivation on their own land as well as on leased land .
- Effective, sustainable and well networked local institutions (a FPO, 12 Farmer interest group, and 6 agriculture resource center) will be functional to support farmers to achieve increased productivity.
- By end of three years, 200 farmers implementing effective cultivation of vegetable in all 3 seasons, have better marketing linkages and have an income enhancement of families by up to 40%.
Activities planned are –
- Organisation / collectivization of the targeted 200 families
- Orientation of farmers towards the benefits and economics of vegetable farming on owned / leased land
- Formation and Strengthening of Farmers Interest Groups and Farmer Producer Organizations
- Establishment of Agriculture Resource Centres and its linkages with farmers
- Capacity enhancement of farmers from targeted families on better agriculture techniques and practices
- Establishment of market linkages
- Capacity enhancement of farmers on value addition and marketing of the produce