Disability-inclusive organic farming for sustainable economic development
Duration: 2016 to April 2020
Local partner: PGSS
NZ partners: Trinity Lands, Charitable Trust
This organic farming project focuses on improving food security and income of marginalised farmers and persons with disabilities from Uttar Pradesh which is the most populous state in India and has the highest number of people living in poverty.
Phase 1 which cbm NZ funded from 2012-2015 was highly successful in improving soil fertility, and increasing household income of the farmers. This Phase 2 project builds on the successes of Phase 1 enabling farmers to lift themselves out of the cycle of poverty. This is a model project that can be replicated throughout India.
Generating sufficient food and income in this agriculture dependent economy has become a major challenge for rural subsistence farmers in Uttar Pradesh facing deteriorating living conditions and inadequate health services. Decades of reliance on chemical fertilisers has resulted in widespread poisoning from direct exposure to chemicals and sprays, family debt, water pollution and soil degradation.
Disability within a rural family increases vulnerability. The associated stigma results in exclusion from education, employment and social activities. Children with disabilities in India are five and a half times more likely to be out of school than other children their age and adults are often unable to attain employment. Uneducated and landless, persons with disabilities, particularly women are the most vulnerable people in this community.
HOW WE ARE HELPING
• Providing farmers and children with disabilities medical attention, assistive devices and individual rehabilitation plans.
• Providing market stalls and accessible processing units to create employment opportunities for farmers with disabilities.
• Increasing economies of scale by through inclusive collectives so farmers can access large markets.
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