Community Based Natural Resource Management
Operational area: Jhansi and Chhatarpur Districts
It is well recognized that degradation of natural resources reflected in declining soil quality, dropping water table and disappearing forestry resources, Increases poverty and causes adverse impacts on livelihoods. Therefore, any attempt at wide scale poverty eradication, particularly in rural areas, must address itself to restoring the degradation of natural resources in the first place. It is now widely accepted that Watershed development as a mechanism for land and water management offers great potential to address the livelihood constraints of poor people.
Considerable proportion of Haritika’s Community Based Natural Resource Management(CBNRM) projects work towards the rehabilitation measures for natural resources through intensive land and water resources development followed by intensification and diversification of agriculture .Low cost and simple technologies have been used as they are easy to maintain and replicate. Beneficiary contribution, up to 20 percent of the costs, has brought out a high level of involvement of the local communities. It has ensured cost efficiency, a high quality of construction and above all ownership .The basic components of CBNRM programmes are:
* In –situ soil and Moisture Conservation
* Water Resources Development
* Strategic Plantation and Seeding
* Agriculture Extension
* Common Pool Resources Management
* Human and Institutional Resources Development
Haritika’s CBNRM programme is being implemented in Jhansi and Chhatarpur Districts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh respectively. Primarily in Babina and Nowgong Block. In Jhansi, distinct agro-climatic conditions of the area were inherently supportive for strategizing comprehensive land and water resources development. Firstly, the geological formation of the area consists of compact granite fractured rock which favors more discharge of water in the form of base flows as a result of various mechanical measures of soil and water conservation in the ridges of the villages or watershed. Due to increased sub-surface recharge the availability of water in streams and in the valley increases substantially, Secondly, the area has innumerable number of small stream draining to the smaller nala flowing through the area. These stream and Nala are seasonal in nature and are alive only during monsoons. The network of these streams and Nala are part of the basin and sub basin of the bigger rivers (Dhasan) of the region .The above two conditions helped in determining Haritika’s strategy to adopt a mechanism of Ridge to valley treatment within small nala basin, for the natural resources development. The villages where Haritika has been working were chosen therefore in a manner that they are part of the basins of the small rivers and maintain geo-hydrological and sociological contiguity. The whole idea was to systematically treat the entire basin for land and water resources development in order to (a) Augment the sub surface ground water system so that increased flow in the streams and rivers continued for more number of months in a year, and (b) Increase the storage of surface water through water harvesting structures.
Tangible Results achieved up-till now are:
* Comprehensive land treatment in 25340 acre area
* 88 Water harvesting structures of various types(Masonry check dam, Earthen pond)
* 378 shallow dug wells constructed providing irrigation benefits to an additional 3780 acres of land
* Basin level organization of people (CBO) comprising of watershed committee, Users group and grampanchayat has been formed for planning execution and maintenance of the initiatives. The Idea is to develop an institutional mechanism to deal with the issue of water demand.
In Jhansi and Chhatarpur, the project area has been selected from the basins of five small rivers Kanera, Pateriya in Jhansi and Bhadar, Umariya and Verman River in District chhatarpur respectively, which are seasonal in nature. There about 100 villages in these basins with an area of approximately 54000 ha .While Haritika has already initiated CBNRM activities in 20 of these 100 villages ,the result of which have been highlighted above, a lot more remain to be done.
* Expansion of programme in 20 more villages in district Chhatarpur ,Madhya Pradesh
* Alliance with National Rozgar Guarantee Employment Scheme programme in chhatarpur for the river basin works.
* Search for long term NGO funding for the river basin Master Plan in District Chhatarpur.
* Implement few pilot action research projects to test certain technical interventions like SALT, Cadastral map based GIS for planning and monitoring etc.
Farming System Research & Development
Operational Area: Nowgong Block District chhatarpur
One of the major objectives of Haritika is to enhance productivity of the land and water resources available to the farmers, towards initiating and supporting endeavors for sustainable agro-climatics.The Farming system Research and Development portfolio in Haritika is spearheading one major intervention. Participatory Varietals selection and promotion (PVSP) .the PVSP method facilitates farmers to test varieties brought from all over the country by the farmers themselves, instead of imposing any new variety on them. Farmers select the best one on the basis of preferred traits of the varieties .During the year, one projects have been under progress is an agriculture sector support to farmers under MP-District Poverty Initiatives Project.
PVS is farmers –participatory approach for identifying improved crop varieties. Based on felt and perceived needs of the farmers, it allows them to test, identify and adopt/spread the suitable, farmers-preferred varieties from a basket of choices provided to thumps is rapid farmers managed and cost effective
* A total 29 varieties of 7 crops have been tested through participatory trials in more than 39 villages across the entire operational area mentioned above
* Approximately 250 quintal of trail seeds of different varieties was procured from 14 major agriculture research institutes across country.
* More than 127 pre and post harvest farmers group discussion have been carried out jointly with farming communities to evaluate the performances of the varieties in comparison to the existing varieties.
* The performances evaluation of varieties reveal that out of 39 varieties of 7 crop(3 in wheat 2 in Gram and 2 in ground nut) have been identified by farmers as potential preferred genotypes.
* All preferred varieties have shown a distinct advantage of 75% increment in yield as compared to the existing varieties.
PVSP as Varietals testing tool especially for poor farmers: A case Study
In Wheat 10 varieties Viz HI-1418,mohan wonder,Raj-3077,HI-8381,HI 1479,HW-2004,Hi-1454 were tested in PVSP trails in Rabi-2004-05.Three varieties Viz HI-1418,Raj-3077 &Raj 3777 performed better in comparison to the other trial varieties and also the existing varieties.
Raghuveer Singh a farmer of village Kararaganj District chhtarpur refused to purchase Mohan wonder at a higher rate since both HI-1418 and Mohan wonder varieties are similar in performance. He also said that in future he will practice the PVSPmethodology before adopting any new seed variety .Farmers ,Kundan Lal,Raghuveer Singh and Rameshwar of village Kararaganj of District chhatarpur also expressed similar views.They said ‘’ Yeh beej company wale hum logo ko ache photo dikha dete hai evam bahut jyada paisa lete hai kintu udhari me beej lene ke karan hame unki bato ko kabhi kabhi manana padta hai par hum ab bina parkhe ise nahi apnayange’’ (These officials of private seed company are cheating us through showing good photograph and promise of high performance of the seeds. They always are charging very high price but mostly we are buying it in credit therefore we were not in position to bargain. In future we will avoid buying in bulk before proper testing in our filed)
Haritika since June 2003 has been providing capacity building support to farming community in 39 village of Nowgong blocks
The following sections have been covered under this process, which includes;
* Farmer’s need assessment in crop varieties
* Search for suitable varieties
* Procedure for approval of trial entries
* Design of farmers managed trials
* Seed procurement and distribution guidelines
Dissemination strategies for the successful varieties in following years.
* What Farmers Say About PVSP
Most farmers expressed satisfaction with the PVSP programme which recognized their choices & views about varieties and agricultural practices .They were also willing to participate in it again .Some of the farmers view on PVSP captured during focus group discussion and village meetings have been presented below:
Beej to hum logon me se kayee ko mini kit ke rup main gram sevak adi logon se mila par kisi ne humse uske bare me dubara nahi pucha na hi hamari rai janna chai .Pahli bar kisi ne hummare sath barabari par baithkar hum logon se batcheet ki tatha rai ko dhyan se suna wa likha’’(As narrated by farmers at village singrawan khurd block Nowgong district chatarpur ,MP ‘’ Is programme ke madhyam se kayee tarah ken aye naye beej humko mile hai jinhe humne pahli bar dekha hai.Isse hame fayda hoga.In beejon me se sabse ache beej ko hum agle sal ke liye rakhange .One another farmer says that Isme sabse adhik mahatvapurn ye hai ki isme atirikt khad ya pani dene ki bat nahi ki jati hai’’
(During pre harvest FGD at Singrawan Khurd block Nowgong District chhatarpur,MP
* Expand the prgramme through new clients
* Develop a cohesive national level network of NGO interested in Participatory Varietals Selection and promotion regime.
Strengthening Local Self Governance
Operational Area: Chhatarpur
In Haritika .Community participation is central to all programmes ,where the community takes decision on what they want to achieve and what would be the systems. We believe that ownership of a programme by the targeted community ,triggered and facilitated by their participation ,are central to sustainability .However this is a highly complex task and one that demands constant attention ,innovation and intensification.
The issue of community participation has been tackled by Haritika on two front’s community mobilization and community capacity building.Cpacity building is essential to maintain the momentum created by community mobilization for the success of any development intervention.
With this thinking,Haritika has been assisting in facilitating the development of Panchayati Raj Institutions(PRIs) to enable them to truly meet the aspiration of the communities. The GOMP itself has taken important actions in implementing the Panchayati Raj Act by forming District Planning Committees, making recent amendments pertaining to Gram Swaraj ,and making appropriate policy decisions
HARITIKA launched a programme on ‘’Building the capacity of the members of PRIs,on a continuous basis.
The Project is experimenting with the idea of Gram Kosh ,which provide capacity building inputs to the Village Development Committees through constant facilititation, providing information, skill building and linking with development services. The training programmes aim to cover the following Issues:
* Role of Village Development Committee and Gram Panchayat in village development like their role in planning, execution and monitoring of development schemes, developing village profiles of each Gram Panchayt etc.
* Duties and responsibilities of Gram Sabha and GP committee, and elected representative like developing strategies for local revenue generation and its utilization etc.
* Special features of Panchayti Raj Act-rights and responsibilities of people and panchayt ,election procedure, reservation in panchayat,etc.
* Financial management, audit and book keeping at panchayat level
* Information about various government schemes sponsored by Government and parked with the gram sabha for village development ‘and
* Activities of various government departments and need of people’s involvements to ensure better delivery of services.
Resource mobilization through National Food for work (NFFWP) programme –during the District advisory committee meeting. A total 36 lakh were mobilized for stop dam construction in Dauriya,Singrawan Kalan and Maviyya.
Initiatives of In-situ Capacity Building
Nearly 157 awareness generation programmes through Nukkad natak, Audio Visual shows,poster, CIGs sammelan ,Exposure visits ,Class room training and field training ,covering 18,900 persons were conducted during the reporting period. Some highlights are given below :
* Training of Newly Elected Representatives: As the new Gram Panchayat were constituted, a training plan for newly elected members of the GP, especially those that had won for first time ,was prepared and implemented. An elected representative from the project villages was also conducted. This training focused mainly on the main provisions of the panchayati Act, the roles and responsibilities of the Sarpanch and the Panch, and the roles and responsibilities of Panchayat Secretary. The rights duties and responsibilities of the Sarpanch vis-à-vis the Gram Sabha and GP also formed part of the training.
* Training to women Representatives: The women elected members of the gram Panchayat were exclusively trained through modular training programmes conducted through five different sessions. The training included themes related to Panchat Act, Leadership and Communication skills, establishing linkages with Government, government schemes and how to access them, fund available to panchayats and budget preparation.
* Awareness on government schemes: An intensive training programme was taken up in all project villages of DPIP to generate awareness about government schemes of the agriculture department, Horticulture department ,mid day meal and rural development,PHE,and animal husbandry .All members of the gram sabha and Panchat representatives were involved. The block level officials of the department visited the village and informed the gram sabha about the schemes and the process for accessing the schemes from their respective departments.