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LIVELIHOOD SUPPORT

The Census report of 2002 of India estimates over 360 million people live below poverty standards. In this era of technological revolution, a sustainable livelihood is still the primary need to rural mass in India. Our National growth is hampered by poor performance of agriculture sector, on which a big cut of rural population thrives. Tribes and weaker sections add the little to national productivity. 

The mission statement of Jan-Mitram, clearly states that improving economic status of ST/SC and Marginal sections of society through employment generation should be core thing of our actions. We, enlightened by organization’s mission statement, are striving for the same.

Livelihood enhancement remains the core of all our endeavors. Our operational area is habited by poorest tribes while there habitations possess natural resources in plenty. Thus our livelihood enhancement initiative plays around natural resources and their sustainable use. Naturally FOREST – FORESTRY- AND FOREST DWELLERS are comes as centre of our policies, activities and interventions. All our livelihood interventions revolve around principal of sustainable livelihood, close to the nature

Medicinal Plant Cultivation project

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) more than 1 billion people all over the world, rely on herbal medicines to some extent. WHO has listed 21,000 plants that have reported medicinal uses worldwide.
India has rich flora of medicinal plant having some 2500 species. Of these, 2000 to 3000 at least 150 species are used commercially on a fairly large scale. Foreign researchers have always appreciated the traditional Indian healers.
India is also rich in diversity of medicinal plants. The supply base of 90% herbal raw drugs used in the manufacture of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani & Homoeopathy systems of medicine is largely from the wild. This wild source is speedily shrinking day-by-day. Therefore, there is a need for conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants. Cultivation is clearly a sustainable alternative to the present collection of medicinal plants from the wild. This can be potential provider of returns to the farmers.

Concept of project

There is a rising awareness for medicinal plant cultivation in India. However it is still confined to big and educated farmers. Small and marginal farmers are either unaware of its potential or inability to capital investment tie their hands.
Here, in Raigarh district of chhattisgarh, situation is even worse. This area falls in paddy belt and farmers largely produce one paddy crop in year. Land de-fragmentation and lake of irrigation facilities make paddy crop a Hobson’s choice. Land productivity is also very low as most of land is barren.
Janmitram kalyan Samiti, NGO and proposer of this project has intervened in situation. It has formed more then 150 self-help groups. These self help group, through the way of thrift and saving, gradually associating themselves with optional income generation activities like lac cultivation, mushroom cultivation and cultivation of medicinal plants. Few groups have also started micro enterprises and are setting examples for others.
We feel that the area, having agriculture based economy, only full utilization of land resources is the best way for livelihood enhancement. Therefore, we conducted several trainings on agriculture-based activities in other developmental programme. Training for cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants was one of them. The programme received overwhelming response and many farmers, self help groups and youth are now willing to cultivate medicinal and aromatic plant. The area is also rich in terms of forest, thus many plants of medicinal value are available wildly. Collection of such plant through non-destructive method can also be the potential source of income generation, especially for landless labors and tribes.
But the field of medicinal plants demand full technical knowledge along managerial skills and marketing strategy. Identification technique is also need to be learnt before collecting wild growing medicinal flora.
Cultivation of medicinal plants is not easy far farmers. Before advising them to jump in this field, one has to set a model of its cultivation, and develop easily accessible information dissemination and marketing system. Janmitram, with Assistance of NMPB will try to develop such a model and network for sustainability of this activity.

Project also seeks to prepare a database of wildly growing medicinal plants in forests of Raigarh district. It also seek of utilize barren land of village (either private or community land) for cultivation of selected medicinal plants, through women self help groups. NGO will support these groups through technical support, trainings, and marketing. Project also strive to built an environment in favor of medicinal plant so that more and more farmers and peoples association join this activity, and bank/ financial institutions /Govt. Department should support them.

Objectives of the project

  • To rise awareness about employment potential of medicinal plant cultivation
  • To prepare a Database of database of wildly growing medicinal plants in forests of Raigarh district
  • To utilize available natural recourses, barren land for medicinal plant cultivation
  • To introduce an alternative income source through medicinal plant and processing
  • To improve living conditions of ST/SC/Marginal Farmers and families below poverty line.
  • To change cropping pattern and increase total cultivated area.
  • To provide remunerative prices of Medicinal products for their growers
  • To make sustainable arrangements for marketing of medicinal plant products at a permanent basis
  • To remove the middlemen form the marketing chain
  • To introduce technical knowledge about various medicinal plant species
  • To develop master trainer for medicinal plant cultivation inside the community.
  • To strengthen women SHGs and ultimately achieving larger goal of women empowerment

Strategy for implementation of project

There will be three distinct parts of project & Strategy. They are:

  • Capacity building and promotional activities
  • Cultivation of medicinal plants on Demonstration plots marketing of medicinal plants
  • Preparing a Herbarium/Database of medicinal plants wildly growing in forests of Raigarh district.

A. Trainings and Capacity building: capacity building and promotional strategy has following elements

      • Orientation programme for general awareness
      • Workshops/ Trainings for technical and updated scientific knowledge
      • Exposure visits to Agriculture university experimental sites
      • Organizing buyers /sellers meet
      • Organizing Aushdiya Kheti melas, (for exhibitions & sale)
      • Organizing bank loan melas for medicinal plant cultivation

Participants in the training and capacity building programme were :

  • Farmers and unemployed Youth Of project Area: Project seeks to disseminate information and scientific knowledge of medicinal plant cultivation in the area, so that more and more farmers make up their mind ultimately change their cropping pattern from paddy to medicinal. Therefore farmers and educated unemployed youth will be beneficiary for training programme along with members of self-help groups. It is expected that after trainings farmers will grow medicinal plants in their private lands. 

  • Members of self-help groups: will play pivotal role in this project and cultivation part of project. Cultivation of selected species will be made through SHGs. self help groups will collectively do all operations and produce will be owned by group. Members of these SHG groups are all women and heil from ST/SC/ BPL families. SHGs will grow medicinal plants as a model to make people believe that quality production of medicinal plants can be achieved with the help of scientific methods and then it’s a quite profitable endeavor. 

  • Bankers of the Project Area: Given to size of investment, all the farmers cannot grow medicinal plants on their own and bank loan become crucial factor to let it happen. Unfortunately common feeling among the bankers is that the medicinal plant cultivation does not meet to expectations or hype made by various agencies. Therefore a farmer find very much difficult to convince a banker to support this activity. Our strategy is to involve bankers of project area in trainings and orientation programme and to convince then for the activity. Bank loan melas will also be organized. This will ensure sustainability and it is why bankers have been given place in proposed PIMC of this project.

  • PRIs and Van samitis: Pancahyat Raj institutions and Van-smitis are major institutions at village level that have influence on community and also have some funds to spend on community interest. They shall take part in trainings. This will help us to make their mind to use their funds for development of barren community lands (apart from project supported area), and to grow medicinal plants through landless farmers & SHGs,

  • Officials of Line departments: Agriculture, Rural development and horticulture departments have various schemes for farmers. They are also promoting medicinal plants with other products. However, grass root level staff of these departments does not have technical knowledge hence they work mere as extension worker rather-then resource parson. Training of such grass root level staff will greatly help to the cause of project. 

B: Cultivation of medicinal plants on Demonstration plots:

Few selected SHGs will grow medicinal plants as a model to make people believe that quality production of medicinal plants can be achieved with the help of scientific methods and then it’s a quite profitable endeavor.Self-help groups will collectively do all operations and group will own produce. Members of these SHG groups are all women and hail from ST/SC/ BPL families. NGO will ensure all operations regarding cultivation should go timely and scientifically. It will also insure production of qualitative produce so that produce can fetch best prices in market.

Three species of medicinal plant have been selected for plantation purpose for which climatic conditions are favorable and produce can be easily marketed. They are Patther-Chur, Sarpagandha and Kalihari.

Cultivation of medicinal plats on demonstration plots:

Name of Species

Area (Acre) proposed for cultivation

Coleus barbatus benth vern. Patther chur Family – Lamiaceae

12.00

Gloriosa superba linn. vern.  Kalihari Family – Liliaceae

8.50

Rauvolfia serpentina benth. vern. Sarpgandha family – Apocynaceae

7.00

Total

27.50

 Benefit of trainings

  • project will provide thrust to this activity so that more and more farmers/self help group come to join the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants.
  • The project will not only generate income for associated self-help groups, but also prepare demonstration plot for other farmers, where they can see and learn cultivation techniques.
  • Master trainers for medicinal plants will be prepared inside the community ensuring everlasting sustainability of activity. 
  • identification and data collection of wild medicinal flora will help to those who are landless and living in vicinity of forest. they can collect wild medicinal flora as optional source of income.
  • Project seeks its part of fund from banks, which will be availed to self-help groups. It will enhance credit flow to farmers from bank as SHGs will set an example by earning through lone rather then subsidy based schemes.
  • Largely barren land will be utilized for the purpose this project. Thereby barren lands in project area will be turned into fertile one. This will set an example for other farmers who loose hope from their barren piece of land. 
  • Women self help groups have been selected as beneficiary of the project. This will ultimately raise their confidence level and women’s empowerment.

Proposed Composition of PIMC


SN

Name

Designation in PIMC

1

CEO, Block Gharghoda

President

2

President, Janmitram Kalyan Samiti (NGO)

Secretary

3

President /Secretary Of SHGs In project Area (3)

Members

4

Project In charge from NGO Janmitram,

Member

5

Representative from Forest department

Member

6

Representative from Horticulture department

Member

7

Representative from Agriculture department

Member

8

AGM (DD) National bank for agriculture and rural development (NABARD)

Special invitee

9

Lead bank officer

Special invitee

10

Representative From Jindal Power Ltd

Special invitee

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