|This week, Satyameet introduces us to Free The Children’s new Adopt a Village development pillar: Agriculture and Food Security, which is now being implemented in Barind - THE Onederworld’s latest adopted community. Food security is an overarching issue that directly impacts a community’s health, livelihood and access to education. This fifth pillar of the Adopt a Village model has been added to help increase water access, improve seed quality for farmers, improve soil fertility, strengthen farmers’ tool kits and build capacity for farmers to ensure long-term sustainability.
The Barind community faces a growing food security challenge. Each household has approximately two beegha (one acre) of fertile land, where they plant their crops for personal consumption and sale. During the monsoon season from July to October, farmers grow maize and during the winter they typically grow wheat, mustard and gram. However, due to poor farming conditions in the winter season, many community members choose to migrate to urban centres. Located in a desert region of India, the Barind community endures several socio-economic challenges related to severe weather patterns. Additionally, most farmers in Barind make less than two dollars a day, increasing the need to migrate for work, which affects at least 25% of the households in the community.
Thanks to the support of THE Onederworld, our Free The Children team on the ground in India is now working alongside community members to ensure that they have access to water, seeds, tools, proper farming techniques and animal husbandry opportunities. The objective is to provide continuous access to an adequate amount of healthy, nutritious food that meets the population’s dietary needs and preferences.
And we’ve already made some progress! We are happy to announce that the community has started growing new, diversified crops in the form of aloe vera and lemon grass. This will not only help provide alternative income generating opportunities but also long-term sustainable food security solutions. This means that the thought of migrating is less likely to ‘crop up’ and children can attend school all year round!