Sustainable Agriculture & Livelihood
The agricultural initiatives undertaken by GMKS are designed to be lasting and consistent, promoting long-term food security while increasing household income. GMKS has witnessed that increased opportunity for dependable local livelihood is accompanied by a reduction in migration and dropout rates.
India’s horticulture and forestry program WADI focuses on the socio-economic development of poor rural families through the effective use of land for agricultural purposes. GMKS partners with tribal families in the implementation of this program, primarily through the planting of mango and lemon orchards on previously underproductive land. Farmers are supported through the provision of fertilizer, equipment, irrigation methods, and training at each stage of the process. The income generated by successful fruit and forest trees has proven significant in the lives of tribal families.
Umbrella Program for Natural Resource Management (UPNRM)
In collaboration with NABARD, GMKS implemented this program of cattle rearing and vegetable production in October 2014. The project provided the 52 participating farmers with a loan to buy a Holstein Friesian cow, a purchase which was facilitated and insured for three years by United India Insurance. Accompanying training on the rearing and management of the cattle was conducted as part of the project, focusing specifically on methods of increasing milk production.
The planting and cultivation of household kitchen gardens has been very important in filling the nutritional gap in the diets of poor families, particularly children. In addition to combating malnutrition, these gardens also provide families with a small amount of income once they begin to generate vegetables in excess of household consumption. GMKS has supported the development of hundreds of these gardens over the past several years and is continually supporting the implementation of more.
Dharamitra (friend of soil) is the centre started in the year 2000 with a small number of dry fields, a miniature budget, and a few fervent members. It’s now grown into a 16 acre facility consisting of units of organic farming, dairy development, processing, and training services. Through the centre, GMKS provides knowledge about organic farming to small and marginal farmers in the effort to promote sustainable agriculture and revive traditional practices in the Bhomat region. Trainings, workshops, and demos on organic farming are organized for experts to share their experiences and best practices, which the farmers then replicate in their own fields. The main aim of the centre is to spread knowledge about the dangerous effects of chemical fertilizers while promoting organic agricultural practices, thus improving the quality of both resources and environment. Organic farming is also labor intensive, providing the opportunity to increase rural employment and minimize the need to migrate for work.
Food for Community Development (FFCD)
FFCD, begun in 1985, is one of the core and continuous programmes of GMKS. It provides the poor with food grains, after which they voluntarily participate in developmental work such as soil and water conservation, watershed management, and livestock development during severe drought in the region.