October 15, 2018
Jharkhand, October 15, 2018: The Jharkhand Horticulture Intensification by Micro Drip Irrigation Project was inaugurated by Mr. Raghubar Das, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Jharkhand in Ranchi on October 8, 2018. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is the development partner of the Project and has signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan of 4,652 million Japanese Yen (approx. Rs. 300 Crore) to the Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS) under Department of Rural Development (DRD), Government of Jharkhand for the promotion of Micro Drip Irrigation (MDI) in the state.
The objective of the Project is to improve the livelihoods of small and marginal farmers in the state of Jharkhand through promotion of MDI systems and strong technical support for enhancement of productivity and marketability of horticulture products. The Project aims at enhancing social participation of women in the target project area, thereby supporting rural development.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Takayoshi Tange, Senior Representative, JICA India made an inaugural speech. "We are inaugurating the project today as necessary preparatory activities such as deployment of team; baseline survey and development of management information system are near completion. Now it is time for JSLPS and DRD, Govt. of Jharkhand to harvest good project impact together. The Project would reach 30,000 women farmers, who are members of Self Help Groups formed by JSLPS, and the Project adopts a holistic approach wherein farmers are provided with MDI system, poly nursery house and vermin compost unit as a package, on a cost sharing basis, along with intensive training on horticulture and marketing. At a larger level, the Project aims to promote empowerment of women."
The Project has several unique features. The Project is targeted at small and marginal farmers who owns or leases farmland over 0.1 ha as the underlying idea of this project is to introduce new technologies and approaches to small and marginal farmers so they can benefit from the use of technology. In Jharkhand, more than 70% of the population dedicates to agricultural activities, and 72% of the same are small farmers who own their land and cultivate it for their livelihood. In other words, approximately half of its population is addressed by the important policy encapsulated in this Project.
Another feature of the Project is that the farmers are supposed to bear 35% of the total cost of the MDI system as a loan. This system is totally a new structure, and it motivates each farmer to take responsibility to maintain the MDI system in a good shape and to increase the productivity of the agriculture products to pay back the loan. For supporting the farmers, a new track record keeping system "Kisan Card" (Farmers' Card) was also introduced, so as each farmer shall keep record on the investment situation (loan taken) as well as usage of funds and activities undertaken.
The Project is in the initial implementation stage and out of 30,000 target women farmers, so far MDI system has been installed by 700 farmers. Munni is one of the woman farmer who has installed the system 6 months before says that "Since I have installed MDI system and obtained training of horticultural practices, I have been able to produce more and better quality vegetables in a shorter period and sell them to the market in a higher price as off season vegetable. I have taken a loan of Rs.10,000 to install the MDI system, I feel that I will be able to return the loan in a shorter period than initially planned. Also, the MDI system has decreased my workload of farming, and now I get more time for household work and for myself."
The Project hopes to support more such women farmers.
L-R: Mr. Paritosh Udaphayay, IFS, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), JSLPS cum Special Secretary, DRD, Govt. of Jharkhand, Mr. Anurag Sinha, Lead Development Specialist, JICA India Office; Mr. Takayoshi Tange, Senior Representative, JICA India Office and Mr. Avinash Kumar, IAS, Principal Secretary, DRD, Govt. of Jharkhand during the inauguration of the Project
Munni, with her Kisan Card in hand, is explaining how her cucumber productivity has increased after installation of the MDI system
Munni is showing her poly nursery house which was installed under the MDI system
Established by a specific law as an incorporated administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to promote international cooperation as the sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the world's largest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in the form of loans, grants and technical cooperation, so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.
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