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The project was initiated with the objective to build on existing capacities, innovations and provide an enabling institutional framework to scale-up more promising initiatives.The overall project Goal was to ensure that income levels, food and nutrition security and living conditions are sustainably improved of people belonging to tribal communities in selected areas.
Under farm-based activities, 4234 households (HHs) in Noksen, Noklak and Sangsangyu blocks of Tuensang were covered in the Phase 1 period of the project covering 5 years from 2015 to 2020. The project had introduced improvements in their double cropping practices. New crops such as field pea, garden pea and sarso (mustard) were introduced to double the income of the farmers for the Rabi season. Short duration seeds of maize and potato were introduced in the project.
Under double cropping, the project saw a 50.90% increase over the last five years. The average practice was of 1479 HHs in 2015 acres which increased to an average of 2405 acres in 5 years. Through convergence efforts from the project, and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources 335 households received drip irrigation coverage.
In order to utilize the available resources efficiently crop rotation was incorporated in the project to obtain higher production per area while maintaining the stability of the production. However, keeping the importance of sustainable soil productivity in view, crop which can supplement soil nutrient in addition to its economic returns was taken into consideration. From 2947 in 2015, there are now 3187 households (82.90% increase) producing a marketable surplus. This amounts to about 30% increase in quantity of produce and a 45% increase in the average income of the last 5 years.
Before the intervention of the project, most of the farmers were under conventional practices where sowing of seed quantities was high but less in yield. With the introduction of SRI among the rice farmers, the yield is now exceptionally high.
STRENGTHENING MARKET LINKAGES
The project formed 3 Farmers Producers Organization (FPO) through the convergence efforts of ECS and NABARD and 2 more were formed by convergence efforts with Mission Organic Value Chain Development -North East (MOVCDNE). The project opened saving accounts for the Farmers Groups (FGs) in the State Bank of India, Tuensang branch and credit amounting to INR 74.50 lakhs was accessed and provided to 32 groups. And through the FPOs, 480 members were provided a loan of Rs 10,000/- each from the co-operative corpus.
The project also focuses on the capacity building of farmers by organizing over 1221 trainings and exposure visits in the past 5 years.
BACKYARD PIGGERY PROMOTION
The project covered 2579 households under backyard piggery promotion, adopting and engaging in improved pig rearing practices. With awareness camps, veterinary services such as vaccinations and trainings on pig nutrition and balance diet management along with the supply of compound feeds, the fattening period of the pigs has reduced by 2 months, from the existing conventional rearing which has led to an increase in 68% of average income among the farmers.
During the project cycle, the project successfully conducted trainings on book keeping, accountancy, leadership, financial literacy program etc for around 260 SHG groups reaching out to 4295 members. With NEIDA’s support, the Nagamaiki Small Pig Farmers Association was registered under Producer’s Company Act and a Pig Feed Mill was constructed in Chingmelen village. The total revolving corpus of the existing 14 federations set up by ECS exceeds 2.5Cr.
PHASE II of the project is currently underway and will focus on strengthening the market linkages of the beneficiary farmers and build their capacities.