Under this programme the major activities are:
- Creating water harvesting structures for irrigation, controlling soil erosion, improve moisture status of the land and increasing the green cover of the areas in target. Structures include 30’ x 40’ land bunding; 5%model small tanks; seepage tanks, river lift irrigation, Drip Irrigation.
- One major drive for creating irrigation facility for small and marginal farmers has been started from last year ( 2013) in Jharkhand project area- Diversion based ( Pipe based gravity fed) irrigation, purpose is to divert hill streams flowing opposite to the habitats, to the areas where people suffer from critical water crisis.
The project aims at providing irrigation in 15 sites in 2 years to address 512 families ensuring Kharif (monsoon) crop, Rabi crop (winter) and house hold water supply.
So far 8 sites are almost complete, work for others have started.
Assessment of the program in 8 villages in last Kharif and Rabi season are listed below
- 77 acres additional area was covered in Rabi season in 2013-14
- 14 acres additional area in Summer season in 2013-14
- 161.5 acres additional area in Kharif season in 2013
- 275 House-holds got 24 hours water supply at door step
- Additional income from Rabi crop varied from Rs 5000 to Rs. 33000
- Intensive Agriculture ( Paddy, wheat, oilseed, vegetables)
- Plantation of forest species and fruit plants ( mango, cashew, amla)
Improved agricultural practices like System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and cultivation of alternative crops, increased usage of organic manure (vermin-compost) have been introduced to make agriculture a perennial source of income and food.
Agriculture is the mainstay of the people of rural areas. Initially the forest dwellers were mainly dependent upon forests for their livelihood. With denudation of forests they have been deprived of food and other requirements. So RDA’s main focus has been food and income security through optimal utilization of local resources, mainly land and water.
Agriculture and other land water based activities are the most appropriate livelihood options for them. RDA concentrated on improved agricultural practices, plantation and animal rearing for economic upliftment of the target communities, mostly STs and SCs.
- SRI Paddy Cultivation:
SRI (System of Rice Intensification) has almost become a revolution in rice production which promises increased yield, reduction in seed requirement and water savings, establishing a model to ensure food security especially for small farm holders. RDA started motivating farmers to adopt this method from 2007.
Village level Audio visual campaign, class room and on field trainings and exposure visits were organisad at regular basis to develop awareness and capacity building of farmers and field staffs.
If paddy was grown in conventional method yield would have been 2.7 quintal / acre. Comparison has been done on the basis of cultivation following SRI and conventional method in the same areas.
Promotion of Seed village for production of quality seeds by farmers and marketing.
Seed is the basic input of agriculture. Due to non-availability of quality seed in time and at reasonable price at door step of the farmers, production of crop is not satisfactory in our state. Considering the above views RDA has taken up the above mentioned activity with support from Tata Education Trust.
This year farmers have produced 939 quintals of MTU 1010 variety seed in two seasons. Total 66 farmers of Sankrail Project area, Midnapore are involved in seed production. Total area coverage was 66.07 acres
Seed go down and seed drying floor is under construction and expected to be completed by the end of June, 2014
Vegetable and Oil seeds cultivation
Economy of the target areas was mainly based on rain fed mono crop agriculture, i.e. paddy. It could not assure food for more than 4-8 months, depending upon available cultivable land and favourable weather.
They cultivated pumpkin, bottle gourd, bitter gourd ,egg plant, cow pea, radish, kidney Beans, tomato and leafy vegetables near by the water bodies.
With development of water harvesting structures RDA motivated farmers to go for crop diversification, i.e. seasonal vegetables and oil seeds ( in the residual moisture after paddy harvesting was over) and summer paddy.
This crop diversification has helped the farmer families meet their family needs and earn sizable additional income.
- Production of Organic Manure (Vermi Compost):
Main objective of the activity is to introduce Organic farming and motivate the SHG members to gradually shift towards use of organic manure for crop production.
Farmers who constructed their vermi tanks and started production of organic manure in 2009-10 produced on an average 500 kgs of manure and applied in SRI paddy and vegetable fields. As a result of application of this rich organic manure, application of chemical fertilizer reduced by 50- 60% which helped decrease cost of cultivation by Rs.500 approximately. For this organic nutrients plant growth was found good and quality of crops has remarkably improved. Organic crops are harmless for human and it is good for the soil texture also.
Total 457 units have been developed in 3 years. All are functional. Per unit production of manure is 4.5 quintal is being produced.
An additional source of income has also been created for farmers. By selling vermin they earn Rs.1500 /unit in a year.
Plantation of forest species like Acacia, fruit plants like mango and cashew has been started from 2009. The objectives were to utilize the fallow lands, enhance green coverage of the areas ( which usually looks barren and dry), fruits for the families as nutrition and earning additional income, timber and fuel wood both for domestic use and earning income after a certain period of time.
So far approximately acres of land have been covered under plantation. RDA provided quality seeds, filling tubes for growing saplings, fertilizer and training for nurturing the plants. Fencing was done by beneficiaries.
So far plantation has covered 34.56 acres of land. It will go on increasing.
2. Tomato Value Chain Development:
Tomato Value Chain Development (TVCD) is a new initiative of Vikas Bazar. Net, Ranchi. It is a Coalition project. RDA is implementing this project in Ghatsila and Dhalbhum block with Tagore Society for Rural Development (TSRD), Patamda, East Singhbhum.
Main objective of this project is collective marketing of tomatoes produced by poor farmers who do not have any access to the larger market and thus are deprived of earning higher income. Facilitating farmers by proving good inputs and capacity development on improved package of practice is another major activity to increase production of quality tomato.
- ANIMAL RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT:
Animal rearing is the second major livelihood option in the target areas. To enhance income from animal rearing major steps have been taken on animal health care and scientific animal rearing. Goat, sheep, pigs units ( 5 in an unit) have been developed. The beneficiaries are landless families, widows, handicapped and other women in distress.
Health check up, vaccination for controlling common diseases among animals (cattle, goat and sheep) and poultry birds are being done at regular intervals.
There has been a serious drive for developing village level animal para-medics through regular training (class room and on field). They provide primary health care services for the animals in their respective villages and assist the veterinary doctor in vaccination and de-worming of animals.
Regular health checkups of the goats and deworming & immunization have been done by the trained para-vets and Veterinary Doctor.
Very recently Integrated Watershed Management Program ( IWMP) has been sanctioned for East Singbhum Project area. The Project is under Jharkhand State Watershed Mission. It is a Govt. Of India Project.
24 villages under 8 Panchayats falling under Boram and Patamda blocks of East Singbhum District of Jharkhand are to be covered under the project.
Total Watershed area to be developed would be 5939.97 Hectares. Main reasons for selection of the areas are:
- The District is affected by Left Wing Extremists,
- Lands are un-terraced and topography is undulated,
- Non availability of assured irrigation ,
- Population belongs mostly to Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes.
Total Project cost is Rs. 851.33 lakhs.