Nowadays agriculture is very challenging for small farmers in India. In one side per capita land share is reducing so fast due to increasing the population. On the hand food demand in a family is increasing...as a result people are leaving their villages, their farms, their families to earn something in remote city areas/ sometimes migrated permanently even in abroad.
So, who will produce crop ? People more interested to buy food from the market than produce in own farm.. so, day by day demand is increasing and raising food prices. With this climate change also a important factor.
We don't know how poor farmers will give more attention in farming.
But still there is a hope. This is our responsibility to train that farmers and send them to start innovative agriculture which will provide sufficient and nutritive food for all.
I am working in Mennonite Central Committee in India with collaboration of Canadian Food Grain bank. Here I have shared one food security project running in West Bengal, India. The local partner's name is Rural development Foundation. The context has given below.
Context of project areas
Hasnabad Block of North 24 Parganas of West Bengal, India is having a geographical area of 156.44 square kilometres with a population of around 1,77,470 having a population density of 1134 per square kilometre. RDF has been working in 7 villages of Hasnabad Gram Panchayat with the financial support from MCC. The project area is low lying, undulating islands with meandering river channels as part of Ganga River delta known as Sundarbans. The surface water including river water and soils are saline and as a result farmers can grow only one summer paddy with the monsoon rains . The area is also prone to flood to Cyclone and surge of tidal waves Poor farmers and underprivileged people of the villages do not have food security all the year round. There have been large scale migration of villagers to other parts of the Country for lively hood. The villagers did not get much help from Government during post AILA ( Cyclone) during 2009 when there were large scale devastation and had a devastating effect on life and property. The Soil was damaged due to deposition of salt on the farm soil and as a result for 2-3 years the farmers could not raise crops. We have under taken saline soil reclamation work to improve the soil fit for cultivation and we have been successful to a large extent. We have also worked on rain water harvesting structure and supply of Saline resistant Crop seeds, Gypsum etc. This has generated huge demand for such services from adjoining areas. We have also formed large number of Self Helps, identified women leaders and provided them training on micro finance and micro enterprise development followed by Micro finance support. This has created huge impact among the women The communities have been sensitized on various issues. The out come of our work has generated interest in the adjoining areas Accordingly we have added 3 more villages of 2 Gram Panchayats
The conditions of the community is very backward, though many of them have land but are affected salinity . the farmers get around 8-9 Quintal of paddy per acres . They do not have knowledge on use of organic fertilizers. There is an urgent need to address the issues which are effecting the daily life of the poor and livelihood of the community
Agriculture is counted as the main occupation of the people . Around 70 % of the population of the district lives in rural area and the main livelihood of the villagers is agriculture. The farmers do not adopt any modern technology for farming and as a result the yield is low. There are no industry in Sunderbans. As a result we are trying to convert mono cropped area into double crop area by constructing rain water harvesting structures, providing training on Agriculture, fishery, Animal husbandry, Handicraft Training, Formation of SHG ,Training to SHG members for undertaking income generating activities and to provide them support with financial and nonfinancial interventions. Thus we want to make a holistic approach to mitigate the Food security problem through generation of production, employment and income of the poor both men and women for proper food security.
Our project area consists of 10 Villages of 3 Gram Panchayat there are3757 families having a population of 18364. Out of which 1284 are farm families .There are341 Small farmers,909 marginal farmers and 34 big farmers. If we can convert the mono cropped area in to double cropped area the farmers will be immensely benefited through increase in crop production and yield and the landless labourer will get local employment and will check migration to a large extent However, reclamation of saline soil through organic cultural practices is of vital importance.
See the attached stories.