Community Empowerment for Nutritional Security

Project Brief: The overall aim of the project is to enhance the â??nutrition securityâ?? of the poor in 10 villages in Barabanki district, covering over 500 households.
Project Type: Community Based Interventions (description)
Primary Focus: health and cleanliness (description)

Secondary Focus: creating resources

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Portland
Status: completed - requirements ended
Project Steward: Chandrika Nimmagadda
Project Partner(s): Sanjeev Kumar
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , Krishi Bharati, C – 186, Nirala Nagar,,Lucknow,
Tel: 91 522 2789 175
Stewarding Chapter: Portland
Dec 2006PortlandUSD 2000

Total = $2000

Trivediganj block is part of the Barabanki district located in the central region of Uttar Pradesh (also known as Avadh).. The block has a Dalit (SC) population of 37%. Within the block the Dalit participation in primary education is 27% for boys and 22% for girls among total primary students while it falls to a pathetic 13% for Dalit girls at the upper primary level. The public education services are dysfunctional for the poor (reflected by the pathetically low enrolment rates), and the well – off do not send their children to government schools. These figures tell the sorry state of the 37% Dalit proportion in the total population.
In the health sector, the public health services on the curative side are practically non-functional. On the preventive side, the government services are very poor. Private health service providers are of poor quality and in most cases out of the reach of the poor.
Agriculture supports around 90% of the population with farmers and agriculture labourers constituting 73% and 17% respectively of the main workforce. The block has 97% small holders with average landholdings below 0.6 hectares. Agriculture in the block is stagnant (even declining) and is characterised by poor quality irrigation facilities, poor access to extension and credit facilities apart from scattered and small landholding. With male migration to the cities being a survival necessity, there is a widespread and increasing phenomenon of ‘women-managed’ agriculture and impermanent women-headed households. This has put the entire burden of managing the reproductive and productive aspects of the household on the women. Women are caught in a bind - poor incomes, poor health and education, and increased responsibility.
About the project:
The overall aim of the project is to enhance the ‘nutrition security’ of the poor in 5 villages in Barabanki district, covering around 150 households. ‘Nutrition Security’ has three main elements:
a) enhanced availability of food,
b) enhanced availability of cash to buy food, and
c) improved nutrition and health behaviour to prevent illnesses.
The enhanced availability of food, and cash to buy food would come through agricultural improvements, and by enabling the poor to be part of the mainstream, thus availing the services and benefits that are offered by the government for them.
Target Group:
* Poorest
* Wage labourers
* Marginal farmers
* Scheduled Castes & Dalits
With a focus on women within these categories
 Improved Livelihoods through agricultural development
 Improved nutrition and health / care behaviours
 Community organisations for empowerment/ solidarity and self-help
 Improved ‘functional literacy’ through non-formal education centres
 Convergence with Panchayats and government for greater impact
Project Activities:
 Enhance Agricultural Incomes – Productivity Increase
* Participatory assessment of existing performance of agriculture and contributory factors, practices, opportunities for increase in productivity.
* Awareness Generation, field demonstration & training on organic manures:
* Awareness generation & Training on ecologically sustainable soil nutrient management practices and diversification
* Facilitation of irrigation facilities for the poor
* Provision of small credit through revolving fund
* Linkages with agricultural resource centres for continued technology dissemination and back up support.
 Enhance Agricultural Incomes – Reduce cost of cultivation
* Identification and promotion of best farming practices rooted in cost effective indigenous technology and knowledge.
* Awareness Generation & Training on rational use of fertilisers, pesticides etc
* Awareness Generation & Training on rational use of irrigation water
* Awareness Generation & Training on eco-friendly soil and moisture management
 Enhance Agricultural Incomes - Diversification
* Awareness Generation & Training on cultivation of pulses/ oilseeds/ vegetables/
* Linkages with markets
 Improved nutrition and health care behaviours
* Education & Communication
* Training
* Strengthening women’s groups to better avail government health services
 Community Organisations
* Community mobilisation and formation of
- Self Help Groups of poor women and men
- User groups of livelihood beneficiaries
* Strengthening of these community organisations through
- Training in sectoral issues and organisation development
 Non-formal education Classes
Project Duration: 4 years
Project Support:
Currently the project is raising resources from
 Members and individual supporters
 ASHA Portland for training activities and revolving fund (initially $2000.00 for the first six months)
Krishi Bharati was set up in the year 2002 by a group of professionals who had extensive exposure and experience of supporting livelihoods both in the farm and non-farm sector primarily in rural areas. Krishi Bharati has the objective of promoting poor rural livelihoods through research, development, and field implementation of projects related to agriculture. The main social group addressed by the organisation comprises of small and socially disadvantaged farmers. The organisation is registered as a non-profit society under the Societies Registration Act 1860.

As part of its agenda of using trade for development, Krishi Bharati has undertaken an action research project on retailing of fresh horticulture produce. This has enabled the organisation to identify commodities and trade channels that can be leveraged to support livelihoods of the small farmers. In addition the organisation has been trying to build networks with extension and research bodies for accessing practices that can strengthen the farming of small farmers through sustainable and environmentally friendly practices and technologies.

Krishi Bharati has initiated field operations in the Trivediganj block of Barabanki, and Palia block of Lakhimpur Kheri districts, through the contributions of its members.