Sustainable Agriculture Project, Orissa
Summary :Project objective and challenges learnt while meeting with two NGOs in Orissa.
During my last visit to Orissa, I had a chance to meet and talk to Sushil Parida of ABLE and Alekh Routroy of ARASMIN. The formar is engaged in community development projects in Paradeep region, which probably is the highest disaster prone area in the country. ARASMIN is active in Kalahandi district, which was featured in national news several times in the past for the level of poverty and social problems in the district.
Says Sushil, that other than his owb NGO, there are many other Voluntary Organisations working on various developmental projects in the area, but everything seems insufficient against the problem or issue. Alekh Ranjan shares the same sentiment. Their effort to implement Sustainable Agriculture Practices is creating impact, but absence of proper tools to monitor regular activities sometimes raises challenges while planning future actions for certain groups, or villages. Detailed information on Agriculture Practices, like the cost of cultivation vis-a-vis revenue from the crop in a kharif, Rabi or summer during a period, sometimes seems very important.
Technology, or being more specific, the information technology about sustainable agriculture practices, research or process improvement comes second in comparison to capturing and analysing such field data. A general fear or hesitation about implementing or using available technology exists among field staff due to lack of knowledge, confidence and sometimes fear transparency.
Encouraging fact is, Sushil, Alekh Ranjan and a few like minded community leaders think differently, and are more than willing to adopt available and affortable solutions that strengthen and direct their goals and vision.