In 2013 following the devastating floods in Garhwal and Kumaon,the Himmotthan Society initiated a “Maximizing Mountain Agriculture Program” (MMAP) with support of the Tata Trusts. The programme aims at restoring the livelihoods of about 9,000 disaster affected households in 95 villages of four districts of Uttarakhand i.e. Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Pithoragarh.
The program seeks to improve the quality of life of impacted and vulnerable communities by enhancing the income of small and marginal families, seed production and by strengthening producer (community) based institutions to manage micro-enterprises in a sustainable manner.
The major focus areas of the programme are:
- Formation and strengthening of community institutions
- Skill enhancement of the community for entrepreneurship development
- Promotion of spices, vegetables, pulses and aromatic herb based enterprises
- Support to distressed families while focusing on women drudgery reduction
Outcomes: In the last 3 years, 6 villages under THT working area of Uttarkashi have been able to develop a knowledge base about various techniques of agriculture focusing on three crops – Onion, Chili and Coriander. Initially, it was touch to mobilize farmers to revive agriculture but seeing the tremendous results in terms of yield, quality of production, many farmers joined hands with us in the second and third year. Keys highlights are:
- Record production of onion in the mountains (around 1800-2000 Quintals in three years).
- 24 Women SHG formed and trained on book keeping, production management, marketing, running of Community Facility Center, etc.
- 2 Women groups develop for Spice production and marketing. Their products is being sold in Dehradun as well on demand basis.
- Approx 100 progressive farmers actively involved in seed production and high yield variety experimentation.
- 500 + farmers adopted improved techniques and seen better result in yield, quality and land use.
Based on pilot, now the program has been expanded to 15 villages from 6 with three more crops added – ginger, Garlic and Turmeric! Next 3 years will be dedicated to develop the cluster into Spice production center and farmers’ cooperative will be motivated, trained and supported to market the product in an organized way.