Community-led water governance initiated jointly by agriculture department and NGOs helps farmers cultivate round the year and earn higher income through better yields
Malkangiri, Odisha: A community-led water governance initiative is doing wonders for tribal farmers in southern Odisha’s Malkangiri district, helping them cultivate round the year, harvest better yield, earn higher income and consume diversified nutritious food.
“All our crops were rainfed, but we still received good yields. We sold the surplus at local weekly markets, and bartered some for essential goods. However, climate change made things unpredictable,” said Dhanurjaya Khila of Kadamguda in Korkunda block.
Farmers started incurring losses due to erratic rainfall and prolonged dry spells. “We slowly lost faith in agriculture. Many migrated to Andhra Pradesh for work,” said Arjun Khila, another farmer.
For years, tribal women have been conserving seeds of indigenous crops in earthen pots. This traditional knowledge was utilised by the agriculture department to identify the climate resilient crops (Photo: Abhijit Mohanty)
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