AGRICULTURE | Sustainable Cultivation

Badlao Foundation first started its work in 1986 by generating awareness on the environmental situation. From this campaign the issue of Sustainable cultivation in Madhupur block emerged. It was highlighted how chemical fertilizers damage the soil. The benefits of using natural manure in the long-term perspective impressed them. Songs plays, posters, newsletters and video films were used to spread the message of Sustainable farming.

 

Because of the depletion of forest cover and reservation of increasingly large areas into Reserved Forests at the beginning of the 20th century, the Santhal tribal population was forced to migrate to Assam and Bengal and even to Andaman and Nicobar Island in search of employment. The tribals were rendered resource less by being deprived of land, forest and water.

Exploitation and the destruction of the natural resources is the main cause for the deplorable condition of the tribals. With the destruction of the forests, the soil has become infertile and the ground water level has gone down.


Badlao Foundation concentrated on revival of the traditional practices for paddy because it was the major cereal crop. After the second year, a change in soil texture and micro organisms was observed. Farmers realised that water retention capacity of the land has increased. Over a couple of years, 12 local varieties of rice were cultivated with help of compost and green manuring. The more popular varieties were Gopisaar, Kapursar and Mainasar. Farmers mixed green manure, farmyard manure and when necessary, neem leaf extract to work as insecticides and pesticides. The yield increased upto 4 maunds i.e. 160 kgs per bigha. This experience of the first five successful farmers changed the thinking of others. The agricultural fields of these pioneering farmers acted as a demonstration plot, which local farmers and from outside could visit to see the crop and talk to them.


Badlao Foundation provided information, green manure, seeds of cereals and vegetables collected from various parts of Bihar. Compost pits were dug in the villages and differences between aerobic and anaerobic decomposition by bacteria was demonstrated. Farmers were convinced only when the compost produced from two methods was shown to them. Small farmers have now been sowing local varieties of paddy, maize and vegetables seeds and used compost. Non-tribals used only cowdung while tribals also used pig refuse and agricultural waste.

Sustainable cultivation led to the integrated development of people of Madhupur block. In order to bring home the idea of Sustainable cultivation, Gram Vikas Samitis were formed comprising both men and women. They were motivated to join G.V.S. meetings where issues were raised, discussed and solved. Training was provided to the members of GVS on the procession of Sustainable cultivation. Women were given a large number of participation in social life. They can take their own decisions on important matters. This has led to their social and moral upliftment.
 

In this background some women started asserting that as they bring articles of daily use from the forests like fuel, fodder, broom grass, daatun (natural toothbrush), sakhua leaves etc., so they would not allow others to cut trees or destroy forests, because from these they make broom, leaf plates etc. and take them in the market. This is an additional source of income for them. Some women took this feeling forward. The forest cover in an around Lamba, Hiratanr, Behrabank, Nawada, Kakli and Karanpura villages has been protected by them, even though the forest is owned by the Government. They also received cooperation of the forest department in their efforts. Today, one can go to the forests in these villages to collect dry leaves, fuel and fruits only after getting permission from its women. Earlier, they used to cover long distances to collect fuel and fodder, but after the introduction of Sustainable cultivation in this region, they now find these articles close by, thus reducing their workload.


The women are eager to acquire their rights in the Panchayati Raj. Significantly around a dozen members of Mahila Sabhas got elected this time in the panchayat elections held in the months of November and December 2010; at least seven of them are holding the office of the mukhiyas. This is manifestation of their empowerment. They have attained equality of status with men and have gained decision-making power. The main objectives of Badlao Foundation have been to ensure immediate and long-term supply of food, basic health and self-respect for the people in their operational area. Sustainable cultivation has succeeded in achieving some level of food security. The traditional culture of villagers ensures that their diverse resources such as land, vegetation, water, and animal are treated as part of the eco system. So far, Sustainable cultivation seemed to be limited to the application of green manure and cowdung with some stress on bunding to check soil erosion. It has been an awareness building campaign against indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and it definitely seems to have made an impact. People have now fully understood different aspects of Sustainable farming. Still, many farmers though convinced about its efficacy, remain apprehensive to adopt it completely.

 

Sustainable cultivation must focus on increasing productivity so as to sustain the growing population. Its essence is in integration of all resources within a village in a regenerative and mutually reinforcing process.

 

WHAT WE DO

Women Empowerment and Gender Justice

Sustainable Rural Livelihoods Programme

Agriculture

Health, Nutrition and Sanitation





# Mahila Sabha Mutual Benefit Trust
# Mahila Sabha on Women Empowerment
# Mahila Sabha at a glance
# Bank linkage and Revolving Funds
# Training and Skill Building

# Promotion of Food Security Through System of Rice Intensification

# Promotion of Vegetable Cultivation (Potato & Tomato)

# Promotion of Micro Irrigation Scheme (DRIP)

# Promotion of Tasar, Spinning, Reeling & Weaving Training for Leaf Plate Making

# Vermi Compost and Organic Manuring

# Natural Resource Generation
# Sustainable Cultivation
# Wadi Programme
# Farmers Club
# Early Interventions
# Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
# Health Status of Tribal People
# Health Insurance
# Baseline Survey
# Community Health and Nutrition
 
  ** Maternal and Child Health Care
   
** School Health Programme
   
** Awareness Generation
   
** Capacity Building of TBAs and Local
        Practitioners




Advocacy and Lobby

Education

Building Institutions

Human Resource Development Strategy





  #Human Resource Development
  **Awareness Building
  **Establishment of Non Formal Education 
Centres
#Impact of Education
#Major Intervention in Education
#Greenwood Public School
#Strategy and approach
   
Child Development      
         
       

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