Building Robust Rural Livelihood Systems
To improve rural livelihood, SeSTA works on the three pillars of livelihood triangle- People, Resource and Activity:
- People: Building capabilities through training and handholding
- Resource: Integrated Natural Resource Management by improving soil health, water management and conservation
- Activity: Providing scientific understanding of an activity and economical sustainability
SeSTA, since its inception in 2011 is working on promoting agriculture with small & marginal farming communities of Chirang & Bongaigaon district. Over time it has demonstrated yield enhancement in crops like paddy, maize and vegetables with significant learning from SRI based agriculture promotion and is now exploring opportunities to build on the learning gained to replicate a self sustaining agriculture model with small and marginal farmers of the Lower Assam region.
Currently, SeSTA is concentrating on:
- Creating irrigation support to farmers is very important which will increase cropping intensity of the farmer. One shallow tube well with an electric pump can provide irrigation in more than 1.5 acres of land
- Diversify cropping pattern with these enhanced irrigation potential, bringing the best possible crop combination is important. Crop diversification can give farmer high incomes. Addition of horticulture crops like areca-nut, betel-vine, spices & maize can provide great returns. Farmer can grow paddy-pulse-oilseed in Kharif season and in Rabi, Maize & vegetable. The wadi will be covered with long duration crops like- Banana, citrus fruits along with intercrops of betel, ginger, turmeric and other spices.
- Farmer collective through self help groups: Self help group can act as platform for farmers to share knowledge, activity planning and marketing. SHG can act as a medium for farmers to communicate with mainstreams for mobilizing finances, government schemes also for marketing of their produces.
- Assam has a sizeable tribal population who are traditionally engaged in pig farming. Keeping this in mind, SeSTA conducted a feasibility study to assess the potential of pig farming activity in providing a stable non-farm income for the rural poor. With the findings of the feasibility study, a pilot project around improved pig farming was started at Chayani Barduar block of Kamrup district.
- The basic premise of the pilot project was to identify whether well-targeted interventions to improve pig production could deliver significant livelihood benefits for the tribal and other marginalized groups in the region.
- The intervention in pig rearing was designed to provide i) Veterinary support through Subject Matter Specialists, ii) vaccination in collaboration with Microbiology Department of College of Veterinary Sciences, iii) Capacity Building of farmers through training, exposure visit and handholding supports
- SeSTA provides quality piglets, regular vaccination and veterinary support to women farmers to enhance their income and strengthen piggery as a lucrative livelihood option. This also includes the promotion of low cost pigsty with 10 numbers of farmers for scientific pig rearing and piglet production. A cadre of paravet is being groomed to provide round the clock veterinary services to women farmers at doorsteps.
Managing natural resources in an integrated way is important to ensure sustainability of rural livelihood. To achieve this, SeSTA works for improvement of soil health, water management and conservation of natural resources in an integrated approach.
Renovation of traditional Water Harvesting System:
- Dong (Diversion Based Irrigation (DBI)) system is a major traditional irrigation system in North Assam. SeSTA works on renovation of DBI system in its working area to protect Kharif crops during dry spells and increase crop area of Rabi season.
Promoting Rain water Harvesting Structures:
- SeSTA has been promoting Rain Water Harvesting Structures like Ponds and Seepage Tanks though Family based and Resource Based Planning which will enable a poor family to take up second crop after Kharif and also fishery. The plan is also to leverage funds for such plans by convergence through NREGS
Minor Irrigation works:
- To enhance crop productivity and net sown area by increasing land under irrigation SeSTA promotes low cost shallow tube wells (STW) and wells.
Promoting Organic Agriculture:
- Under Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP) programme of MORD, SeSTA is promoting organic agriculture in Chirang and Bongaigaon districts of Assam.
Promoting livelihood in Forest fringe villages:
- SeSTA is promoting livelihoods in fringe villages of Manas National Park so that the livelihood dependency of local peoples on Manas National Park decrease gradually. To this SeSTA is organising women into SHGs and developing participatory livelihood improvement plan for those families and assist them to implement the same.
Strengthening traditional livelihood:
- SeSTA intervenes to enhance traditional livelihood like sericulture and integrated farming system (IFS).