Integrated Agriculture – Sowing The Seeds of Prosperity
The rural economy is in distress. India is facing an agrarian crisis. The crisis would be one of the main issues in the upcoming elections and could potentially decide the next government formation. There are several factors that have led to this crisis – collapsing farm prices, inadequate insurance cover, lack of irrigation infrastructure, ineffective marketing, outdated technology, and fragmented supply chains etc.
A long-term holistic approach is required to overcome the crisis. Our cross-functional expertise could be the game changer. Coastal states like Orissa are facing their own unique problem, the neglect of its water bodies such as ponds. Orissa used to have a thriving natural ecosystem around its ponds. However, years of neglect and the use of alternate sources of water have resulted in their degeneration.
Aahwahan Foundation’s objective is to provide a sustainable solution with long-term socio-economic impact through an integrated agriculture approach. It is a dynamic method which could be applied to farming systems. It consists of attention to detail and continuous improvement in areas related to farming via informed management processes.
Aahwahan Foundation is committed to:
Identifying the current farming systems in a specific location and access their comparative feasibility
Developing a farming system for various situations
Facilitating optimal use and conservation of existing resources
Maintaining a sustainable production system without having an adverse impact on the environment
Increasing the profitability of agriculture
For the pilot project, we have identified the area around 2 acres initially, we would be restoring the natural health of the pond based on our expertise in pond reclamation. After that, we shall use the pond for commercial fish farming. In order to improve the aesthetic appearance of the peripheral areas, we would be setting up benches, walking tracks and illumination of the embankments. Public toilets would also be constructed. We shall establish a computer center for providing technical training to local youth. This would definitely transform the economic health of the area around the pond. People employed in fish farming would get a source of income, the increase in visitors would improve the commercial potential of the area, and youth trained in the computer center would have a better chance of being employed in future.
Thus the revival of an unused water body would change the economic prospect of the area. This would result in establishing a continued institutionalized collaborative agriculture practice. The skills of the farmers would be enhanced through training, improved information and network. Our aim is to leverage the success of this initiative and replicate it in other areas. Various stakeholders, including local government officials, agricultural research universities, other NGO’s, leadership at the village level, and local people have shown keen interest and backed our proposal. Funding from ecologically conscious donors such as yours would strengthen the movement.