Rejuvenation of Cultivable Wastelands-Uttarakhand- CSR Projects India
 
 
 
 

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Rejuvenation of Cultivable Wastelands

 
 

Organization : Udyogini

 
 

Location : Uttarakhand

 
 

Project Description

Udyogini, with support from Oracle, commenced the project in 2016 in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand to enhance the income of women producers through Medicinal & Aromatic Plants (MAPs) cultivation and its value chain development due to the unmet ever-increasing industry demand and high social acceptability.


While stepping into the 5th year of ground implementation, (FY 2020-21), Udyogini in order to support, strengthen, and sustain the MAPs production, proposes to
1.       Raise Area under Production: Area under production under different MAPs will be raised from 14 ha to 2 ha. This will also ensure higher production to attract new and current buyers in the market

While stepping into the 5th year of ground implementation, (FY 2020-21), Udyogini in order to support, strengthen, and sustain the MAPs production, proposes to:


1. Raise Area under Production: Area under production under different MAPs will be raised from 14 ha to 2 ha. This will also ensure higher production to attract new and current buyers in the market


2. Introduction of Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs): Since farmers have accepted and started raising MAPs on their cultivable wastelands, there is a challenge to harvest quality produce (e.g. Kutki roots are not attaining the girth it should have; unawareness regarding timely harvesting of Chamomile is leading to less aroma). The possible and potential solution is the introduction of GAPs. In FY 2020-21, the team will start training, demonstrating and sensitizing the farmers towards the adoption of GAPs linking it to market demand and better price realization, the process for which will start after the harvest of 2019-20 crop itself. Some of the GAPs can be identified as:

  • Regular weeding and intercultural operations
  • Use of organic manure
  • Soil health and enabling microbial environment
  • Protection against soil loss
  • Learning and sharing platform 

 

3. Reduction of resistance in adoption of high value crops with long gestation period: Medicinal crops like Kutki, KapoorKachri, etc. are long duration crops of 3-4 years. This generally doesn’t attract farmers while there are still chances of crop failure due to market price fluctuation, quality of material, environmental factors, etc. We propose to introduce crop combinations (producers will be encouraged to take up two to three crops on separate fields. The crops will be of varied crop-cycle, ranging from 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years and 3 years. A simple example of it can be Tagar (1-2 year) + Tulsi (3-5 months) + Turmeric (8-10 months), + Chamomile (10-12 months) etc.) of short-long-short duration. Return from short-duration crops will boost the confidence of farmers towards expanding the area under MAPs cultivation.


4. The model of Convergence: Government functionaries like HRDI are also working towards MAP cultivation. It is more like a buyback program minus the technical expertise and guarantee to buy produce. Through developing quality produce through informed agriculture practices, the association can be utilized for linking the producers directly to HRDI like Govt. functionaries where producer can be least worried of the seeds and market and focus completely on developing the harvest. This in one way will ensure less drop out of farmers and in other will bring crops under the cultivation umbrella. In order to sustain the cultivation and conservation practices for MAPs, it becomes imminent to come together with the local administration and line-up our efforts towards this. While we have good convergence with the departments, we seek to sustain and heighten our efforts with other government departments like the horticulture department, agriculture department, regional banks, and NABARD, etc. 


5. Community-owned Collection Centers and Primary Processing Units: With all production systems in place, we will be setting up community-led and owned collection centers cum processing units. These will be community-driven local centers where collection, primary processing, grading, sorting, and packaging will take place. This will sustain the model and develop ownership. Three such units will be set up on an experimental basis in each block with basic assistance from the government departments.


6. Better Price Realization: Efforts will be made to provide better prices to farmers through one or in a combination of the following practices:

  • Better post-harvest management – Once the produce is harvested, it is important to do store and do post-harvest activities in a proper and scientific manner e.g. harvest should be washed in running water or still, should be shade dried or sun-dried, drying should be quick or gradual, etc. This kind of informed post-harvest management activities will keep producer aligned with market demand and expectations
  • Primary Processing – MAPs are cultivated for its medicinal and/or aromatic properties. The greater the delay in selling the material to the market post-harvest, the greater the loss farmer suffers. Therefore, it is important to do primary processing and convert the produce into less perishable form like drying, cleaning, powder form, etc. at point of origin
  • Brand Development – Once the farmers learn to do primary processing, the next step would be to do this in a group (community-based) and develop a brand of the point of sale unit. This will attract even more market
  • Buy-Back Model – The option to introduce producers to the buy-back model, where the producers are provided the seeds, technical expertise, regular monitoring and ultimately buying the product will help protect the producer from the unpredicted environment as well as a volatile market. This can be seen as a sustainable way of farming 


7. Documentation: With the commencement of the 5th year, it will be a challenge to decide to wrap up or to handover. For that to happen, the community and organization should both take learning from here for implementation. This can be done when things are documented, disseminated, analyzed, absorbed and executed. Following will be the task of Udyogini to make it happen:

  • Local community-friendly audio/visuals will be developed for efficient dissemination
  • Success as well learning stories will be documented and narrated to local producers
  • MIS System will be put in place for ready database and analyzed learning
  • Digitization of the farmer fields will be done to analyses the future modalities 


8. Setting up of Research Unit: With 4 years of experience in MAPs taking assistance from government departments (forest, horticulture, and functionaries like KVK and/or scheme like MGNREGA), we will be setting up research units at different altitudes and different biophysical conditions. This will help us to understand

  • The possibilities of conservation of endangered species under cultivable setup
  • Varying chemical constituents in varying microclimate setup
  • The step towards conservation of biodiversity
 
 
 
 

Project Type : CSR

 
 

Special Features of Project

  1. Capacity Building: 1000+ women farmers of 3 blocks (Dewal, Dasholi, and Tharali) in Chamoli district are trained on cultivation practices of different MAPs
  2. Output: 1036 producers of 34 villages of 3 blocks have planted one or more MAPs such as Tulsi, Rosemary, Kutki, Tagar, Jatamansi, and Kapoorkachri in an area of 14 ha approx.
  3. Income Generation: Income of 800 producers from the cultivation of MAPs on cultivable wasteland, by 2020, from the sale of dry roots, rhizomes, flowers and/or leaves of 6 crops (Kutki, Tagar, Rosemary, Kapoorkachri, Tulsi, and Chamomile) is expected to range between INR 80 lakhs – INR 20 Crore i.e. Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 25,000 per farmer per season
  4. Forward Linkages: Market linkages have been established with Dabur, Emami, Himalto, Kumaon Grameen Udyog, Agri Natural India, and Divyanshi Bio Organic to sell the raw produce from the farmsKnowledge
  5. Products: Developed training modules, package of practices, etc. for the cultivation of MAPs in local language i.e. Hindi for the farmers
  6. Towards Sustainability: Convergence and dovetailing with the following government department and administration for the cultivation and conservation of MAPs
  • Herbal Research and Development Institute (HRDI)
  • High Altitude Plant Physiology Research Centre (HAPPRC)
  • Department of Rural Development
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
 
 

Project Donors and Partners

Oracle
 
 
 

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