Chetana Vikas

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SUMMARY

Working in 100 villages of Wardha district in the Vidarbha region, Chetana Vikas trains marginal and debt-ridden farmers on techniques of low-input farming to enable self-reliance, food security and riddance from debt.

IMPACTS
  • 140 farmers have taken up sustainable farming on 250 acres
  • Water conserving bunds have been constructed by 65 farmers on 400 acres in 9 villages
  • Training villagers on low-cost technology for soil-contour measurement, rainwater harvesting and soil conservation lead to an increase of up to 45% in productivity
  • Farmers also trained in conserving seeds and maintaining a seed bank. This has given an alternative source of seeds for the farmers aiding in reduction of input costs.
  • On an average,19 crops are cultivated on a single field per farmer promoting crop diversity that is aimed towards nourishing the soil and also providing nutritious food for the farmer and her/his family.
  • Chetana Vikas runs a training center called Alternative Agricultural Resource Centre where farmers, activists, NGOs, policymakers and scientists are regularly trained on various low input sustainable methods of farming. This centre also serves as a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences from the perspectives of these different players of agriculture sector.
INSIGHTS
  • Chetana Vikas plays a crucial role in shaping agriculture perspective among the like-minded groups in India. They are a vital partner in the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) organization
  • Like AID, Chetana Vikas believes in integrated development. Apart from focusing on agriculture its programs focus on empowering women (for e.g. it trains them as village engineers who plan and oversee construction of water conservation structures,soil contour measurement etc) and focuses on food security (by emphasizing food crops over cash crops)
  • Chetana Vikas' strength lies in the trust they have been able to build with the communities that they work with which has helped them immensely in persuading farmers convert to low-cost agriculture. Now several farmers reach out to Chetana Vikas to learn about low-cost techniques and practice on their fields.
STRATEGIES
  • Workshops to train farmers in Chetana Vikas’s demo farm
  • Provide local, traditional seeds from community run seed bank
  • Encourage multi-cropping and crop-diversity
  • Help with soil and water conservation efforts
  • Organize farmers and help them manage their produce for self-reliance as well as for local marketing

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