Flood-affected farmers of Mahaboobnagar and Raichur benefit through Livelihood Restoration Project

11/15/2013

Monsanto Fund partners with NGO ACCESS Development Services on initiative to restore Livelihood for flood-affected farmers

Mahaboobnagar, November 15, 2013: Farmers of Mahaboobnagar (Andhra Pradesh) and Raichur (Karnataka) districts had suffered  large-scale damages and their livelihoods were devastated after cyclonic floods in October 2009, that completely washed out their farm lands and their only source of sustenance. However, today, these farmers have been able to resume farming on their agricultural lands and enhance their crop yields thanks to a community development and livelihood restoration initiative by Monsanto Fund in partnership with NGO Access Development Services

In 2009, flood waters inundated the above districts affecting lives and livelihoods of over five million residents, destroyed millions of acres of farmland and damaged standing crops resulting in loss of life, property and livestock. Villages along the river-bed were revisited by subsequent floods in August 2010 as well, and a majority of affected people were small and marginal scale farmers with land along the river bed. Besides losing fertile top-soil to erosion that rendered the agriculture lands unfit for cultivation; the remaining farmers battled severe water-logging, sand casting and damage to standing crops. The worst-affected were communities in Raichur and Mahaboobnagar districts, who were then unable to return to normal livelihood activities and more than 80% migrated with their families.

Started in 2011, the 3-year initiative, driven by the collaborative effort of Monsanto Fund and NGO ACCESS Development Services, focused on “Restoration of Livelihoods in the Flood-Affected areas of Mahaboobnagar and Raichur”. The project successfully restored farm-based livelihoods of nearly 10,000 households across 20 flood-affected villages, through sustainable technical and institutional delivery mechanism. It aimed at enabling rehabilitation of agriculture-based livelihoods in flood affected villages of the two districts. Out of a total damaged landholding of  349.91 acres in the selected villages, nearly 270 acres have since been restored. As part of the project several activities like Land and Canal Restoration, Drainage cleaning, Soil fertility Improvement measures, Introduction of new crops (Vegetables, Watermelon, Maize and Black gram) to improve their income and nutrition have been undertaken. An average of 500 families in each affected village are being supported.  Additionally, distribution of Green Manure seeds and Gypsum have encouraged farmers to return to cultivating their land. The partnership also helped to establish an Agri-business Resource Centre (ABRC) to strengthen Producers Company business activities and to take up farm-based livelihoods through crop diversification.  Water-harvesting measures and income-generation activities like livestock promotion, capacity building etc have helped rehabilitate poor and marginalized sections The entire rehabilitation efforts focused on integrated inputs right from restoration of cultivable land, streamlining quality inputs, developing farmer based institutions as well as facilitating market linkages.

While applauding the initiative, Honorable Member of the Legislative Assembly from Alampur, Shri Abraham, said, “This initiative is an example of how focused partnerships can help improve the lives of communities. I congratulate the farmers of Mahaboobnagar and Raichur for their success and praise Monsanto Fund and NGO ACCESS for their joint contribution.

Joint Director of Agriculture, Shri Rafiq Ahmed added, “Both Raichur and Mahaboobnagar are critical contributors to the agriculture production of the country. It is not just in the interest of the farmers, but the entire nation, that these farmers have been rehabilitated with the right inputs and guidance.”

Monsanto Fund and NGO ACCESS Development Services helped farmers with soil analysis, and advanced farm inputs for cultivation, and educated them on crop management practices, thereby helping them increase their yields and improve their lives.

Farmer Chakali Bajari, Kutakanur village, Mahaboobnagar talks with pride, “The floods in October 2009 left massive destruction for us farmers. My village was based only on agriculture and after the floods the fertile part of the land was totally eroded and the agriculture lands were not suitable for cultivation. I was among the many farmers who migrated to protect our families. However, Monsanto Fund and NGO ACCESS came to our rescue. Following their guidance and expert help, I have been able to enhance my yields in paddy cultivation. On behalf of my entire village, I thank Monsanto Fund and NGO ACCESS for their support.

Talking about Monsanto’s role in the initiative, Madhav, Human Rights Lead, Monsanto India said, “At Monsanto, we endeavor to improve the lives of farming families through sustainable agriculture. Our association with NGO partner ACCESS is part of our promise to deliver solutions to farmers and enable them to realise their true potential. We will continue to partner with farming communities in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka  and across India to help farmers produce more, conserve more and improve lives.

Monsanto Fund - the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, was established in 1964. For more than 40 years, Monsanto Fund has worked to substantially and meaningfully improve the lives of people around the world by bridging the gap between their needs and their resources. Monsanto Fund has sought to improve the well-being of people by supporting projects in four primary areas of Educate (Science Education), Benefit (Nutritional Improvement through agriculture), Protect (Healthy Environment) and Support (Communities).

About Monsanto India

Monsanto India is focused on improving lives by enabling farmers to produce more and conserve more through its innovative high-yielding DeKalb corn, Seminis vegetables and Paras cotton seeds;  in-the-seed insect protection Bollgard Bt cotton biotechnologies;  on-ground farmer extension and mobile-based farmer AgVisory® services offering customized crop management recommendations from sowing to harvest to 10,00,000+ farmers; Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) with six State Governments (Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Maharashtra) through better inputs, improved agronomic practices, and user industry market linkages.  Monsanto India is also amongst India’s Best Places To Work®, ranked among India’s Best Employers, and/or Great Places To Work® in India nine out of the last ten years (2003-13).

About NGO ACCESS Development Services

Set up in early 2006, ACCESS is a not-for-profit company whose overall aim is to incubate new institutions to enable their self-sufficiency and self-sustainability. Under the Livelihoods Program Unit, ACCESS impacts the lives of the poor by developing sustainable solutions for upscaling their income generation activities. To this end, it offers specialised technical assistance under two verticals: microfinance and livelihoods.

For further details, please contact:

Ruchi Sharma

Monsanto India

ruchi.sharma@monsanto.com; +918451000165

 

Ranganath T

Edelman India

Ranganath.T@edelman.com; +91 9000735656,