Help farmers like Neeraj learn important agricultural skills so they can develop a successful agricultural business providing a livelihood for themselves, their families and the local community.
This innovative organic farming programme focuses on improving food security and income of marginalised farmers and people with disabilities living in rural Uttar Pradesh – one of the poorest and most highly populated States in India.
This programme uses inclusive business models such as skills training, farming collectives and market links to bring about sustainable change for over 3,600 farmers.
In 2017 this programme was awarded a Zero Project award for introducing an innovative approach to inclusive employment and vocational training. With support from cbm New Zealand over the last nine years, many farmers with disabilities are now able to provide for their families, reducing the dependence on family members and increasing their voice in decision-making.
Disability within a rural family in India is often a source of discrimination and neglect. Persons with disabilities, particularly women, are left out of livelihood opportunities in rural areas of India due to lack of adequate skills and inaccessible production processes. 81% of those with disabilities involved in this programme had never received medical attention for their impairment. Almost half had not attended school, and many were called derogatory names and lived in social exclusion. Parents of children with disabilities are often unable to work due to the additional care-giving needs. The prevailing stigma of disability creates exclusion and traps people with disabilities and their families in a cycle of poverty.
Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in India with the highest number of people living in poverty. Decades of dependence on farming with chemicals depleted the soil of nutrients and resulted in insufficient crops to feed the large population. Introducing organic and traditional farming techniques has reduced dependency on expensive agro-chemicals and improved the quality of soil. The result is larger yields and better health. With the agriculture sector continuing to act as the largest source of livelihood in India, and person with disabilities being left out of opportunities in development and urban growth, there is a clear need to create employment and livelihood opportunities in rural areas that are inclusive, marketable and sustainable.
This programme aims to create long-term change through transfer of knowledge on sustainable techniques and creating links to larger markets to generate greater income.
WHAT YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT CAN HELP FUND
- Training farmers and people with disabilities on organic agriculture and other traditional and innovative production chain activities.
- Providing rehabilitation services, mobility devices and tailor-made tools for farmers with disabilities.
- Supporting people with disabilities with market stalls, inclusive processing units and accessible greenhouses.
- Creating market linkages and facilitating inclusive farming collectives to access larger markets.
- Supporting organisations of persons with disabilities to amplify their voices at important village meetings.
- Strengthening farmer’s livelihoods during the COVID-19 pandemic.