Mitigating Food and Nutritional Insecurity and Ushering Economic Return for the Farmers through a 100 Days Convergence Project

When the year 2020’s pandemic hit the district along with the rest of the world, ECS teamed up with the Tuensang District Administration and Agri & Allied Department to converge and adopt 500 farmers for the promotion of rabi crops in eight villages to sustain the market needs of the district.

10 partner departments namely, Agriculture, Horticulture, Sericulture, Land Resources, Soil and Water Conservation, Water Resource Department, Fishery, Veterinary, ATMA and KVK converged for this initiative. Besides the Agri and Allied departments, the convergence initiative was also supported by DRDA Tuensang, District Task Force of Covid 19, District Administration, Security Department, Cooperation Department, and LBM. Along with these partners, the churches also converged with the team by providing financial support and monitoring the activities carried out.

Solution outline
• Food and Nutritional Security not only for rural farmers who are the producers but also urban population who are dependent on the surplus produce supplied by producers
• Generate Additional Income for the rural farmers
• Create employment avenues for the rural daily wage earners

Solution implementation
During the implementation period, a community nursery was established for all the Cole crops, and distribution of seedlings and transplantation of seedlings were done. This was followed by intense training, on-farm demonstration, and constant monitoring of beneficiary farms.The technology of polytunnel and greenhouses were disseminated. Post-harvest management is another area where the beneficiaries have thoroughly imparted the technology which was realized by the farmers once the produce was harvested for marketing.

Project Achievements
- The project had covered 502 marginal farmers
- 8 villages participated in the initiative
- 10 Agri and allied departments took lead in the implementation of the program
- The farmer's income had doubled with the increase of production in most of the participating villages (amounting to more than 75 Lakhs in total sales)
- Farmers who have never grown Rabi vegetables had learned to grow and produce winter crops
- Apart from the direct beneficiaries, many other farmers had participated in the initiative with their own expenses.

After applying the various technologies and witnessing the performance of the crops during winter season, most of the beneficiaries are interested and even willing to invest by themselves in the future.

The project being first of its kind did face some challenges in monitoring and evaluation of the performance. Slow acceptance of improved cultivation practice was one major challenge in the entire intervening village. Nevertheless, the project was a huge success and helped the farmers earn an income, whilst meeting the demands if the local community without depending on external sources.