State Level Training Programme for MGNREGS Labour Group

Agragamee has organised a State Level Training cum Workshop for the Mohatma Gandhi National Rural Emplyoment Guarentee Scheme (MGNREGS)  labor group with collaboration of European Union and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Germany at Kashipur in Rayagada district on 5th and 6th October 2018.  Labor groups of 10 projected backward district i.e., Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Korapur, Mayurbhanj, Rayagada, Gajapati, Nuapada and Balangir districts were participated in this event. The groups shared their mixed experienced both success and failure in the implementation of MGNREGS  at their local area. 

There was a discussion conducted on the sensitive issue of migration i.e., whether MGNREGS can prevent migration or not? Some of the participants of Belpada block of Bolangir district and Nuapada district shared their experienced that they have demanded job in some the villages which helped in preventing migration and generated income. Some of the participants of Pokhari village of Derakumpa block of Kandhamal district shared about their demand of work and have got pond renovation work which not only helped for employment but also developed natural resource of their village.

Participants were  actively shared some of the important issues which they are facing as delay of payment, technical ignorance and difficulties, less interest and less awareness of the scheme, low labor wage and some job cards remains in the custody of some of the households , Sarapanch and contractors. 

In the inaugural session, Mr. Debabar Pradhan, BDO, Kashipur block shared about the provisions of NREGS in different Government line department where 130 types of work are included in this scheme. Dr. Narendra Mishra, Trainer and Expert, convinced scope and possibilities of MGNREGS work and social audit for this work. 

Mr. Achyut Das , Director, Agragamee, addressed the labor groups to work for success and  implementation of MGNREGS which will help to enhance the livelihood security of the households, rural area development, reduce migration and restore environment. He asked labor group to increase formation of labor group, demand of work at panchayat offices, and ask for slips ( evidence) which is a proof of registration of their work demand. 

Mr. Mahendra Nath, Training Coordinator, Agragame-EU Project;Mrs. Sumani Jhodia Tribal Leader of Kashipur; Mr. Satrughan Naik, District Coordinator of Agragamee-EU Project, Nuapada district etc. were shared their experience on this occasion. 

First Round Table On Agrarian Issues In The Context Of Doubling Farmers’ Income

Agragamee has organized a round table on agrarian issues in the context of doubling farmers’ income at Hotel Suryansh, Bhubaneswar on 26th and 27th September 2018 with collaboration with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Germany. Agricultural Scientist, Policy Maker, Government Officials, Agriculture University and well known NGOs of Odisha and other states who are currently involved in agriculture development, Media personnel have taken active participation.

During the two days, there was brainstorming discussion on Ecological Agriculture Vs Chemical Agriculture, agrarian crises on account of unsustainable use of land, water, forest and live stock.Dr. Aurobindo Behera, Former Member, Board of Revenue; Prof.D.P.Roy, Vice Chancellor, OUAT moderated on first day while Prof. Radhamohan, Environmentalist and Mr. Rangalal Jamuda, Chairperson, Odisha State Food Commission moderated on second day of round table.

Mr. Achyut Das, Director, Agragamee, shared the objective of the round table. He said that there are so many things are happening everyday in the country related to farmers.Farmer suicide, migration and displacement,promotion of new kinds of crops and trees plantation like eucalyptus or high yielding chemical maize are going on. The food and nutrition security of millions of families involved in farming are threatened. So the initiative of doubling farmers income within next 5 years can raise a light of hope.

Mr. Sourav Garg, Principal Secretary,Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment, Government of Odisha, said that Government has taken several measures for the development of farmers and agriculture in Odisha. The growth rate of agriculture sector in Odisha is increasing as per NSS Survey and All Indian Financial Inclusion Survey.Food grain production is increasing, information technology in agriculture also increasing. He shared that Government of Odisha has taken two initiative based on traditional agriculture,one is Paramparagat Krishi Vikash Yojana for organic agriculture and second one is Millet Mission for the growth of production. He informed that millet is going to be add in MDM soon in Odisha.

Mr.Pratap Kumar Jena, Principal Secretary, Department of Water Resources, Government of Odisha, shared that farmers need to change their crop production according to marketability. He also suggest for the cluster wise production for supply of produce to avail market demand.

Prof. Radhamohanemphasized on Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka’s natural farming ( no-till, no- herbicide grain cultivation farming method).Mr. Rangalal Jamuda said that there is a need to focus on both food security and nutritional values among the farmer and tribal communities.

Mrs. Vidhya Das, Joint Director, Agragamee,has presented and raised some major issues of tribal area. As per Global Hunger Index, India is ranked at 100 out of 119 countries for under nutrition. As per National Family Health Survey 36% of children are under weight and whereas tribal community its raised as 45%. So nutrition must be needed. she urged to integrate both small and marginal farmers for growth of production and face to market need.Women should be enter in agriculture system. Minimum Support Price (MSP) should be implemented for Millet, Pulses, Oilseeds etc. Subsidy for traditional agriculture should be raised by policy makers for promotion of organic farming.

Dr. Aurobondo Behera said that there is need of proper implementation of Government schemes for the small and marginal farmers.

Among the participants Dr. Surya Narayan Behera, Ex. Director, Horticulture Department, Odisha; Dr. Nagendra Kumar Mallik, Asst. Agriculture Officer, State Directorate Agriculture; Dr. Prabhu Charan Lenka, Retd. Prof. of Harticulture and Director of Planning and Monitoring, OUAT; Prof. Pravat Kumar Rout,Dean,Extention Education,OUAT;Dr. Sisir Behera, Prof.Agriculture Engineering, SOA Univercity; Mr. Bhaskar Parichha; Dr. S.K. Dey, Former Vice Chancellor, OUAT; Mr. Natabar Sarangi, Organic Farming Scientist; Mr. Bidhyadhar Moharana, Retd. Agriculture Officer, Ms.Sabermatee from SAMBHAV NGO; Mrs. Puspanjali Satpathy from Basundhara NGO; Mr. Prashan Mohanty and Mr. Suresh Bishoi from NIRMAN; Mr. Debjeet Sarangi from Living Farm; Mr. Kailash Chandra Dandapat from JAGRUTI NGO; Dr. S.K. Srivastava, IACR, Bhubaneswar; Mr. Natabar Khuntia, Eminent Environmentalist; Mr. Ekadashi Nandi; Mr. R. Gopinath, MS Swaminathan Foundation, Chenai; Mr. Oliver King,MS Swaminathan Foundation, Jeypore and many other researcher, organic farming practitioner, columnist are actively participated and share their experienced.

State Level Women’s Convention

Agragamee has organised State Level Women’s Convention at Koraput Tribal Museum from 4th September to 6th September 2018 with collaboration of European Union and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. Around 150 tribal women were actively participated from 10 backward districts of Odisha. During the three days convention Forest Land Right and Entitlement, Literacy and Empowerment, Women and Governance, Forest Right Act, Women in Agriculture, Seed Conservation, Food and Nutrition, Sustainable Livelihood etc. important topic were discussed.An exhibition on organic products of tribal areas was organised and displayed.

The convention was inaugurated by Mr. Rangalal Jamuda, Chairperson, State Food Commission. He addressed women to participate in the governance system for their development. He shared different welfare schemes of the Government which are specially for women and appreciated the spirit of tribal women along with answering their questions related to various socio- economic issues.

Mr. Achyut Das, Director, Agragamee, welcome and share the objective of the convention. A number of district level officials related education,nutrition , livelihood, agriculture, women leaders, tribal women farmers shares their experience, fight against their right and success stories. Tribal women described their process of traditional and organic agriculture, conservation of organic seeds, fruit and vegetable garden, child education and health in various sessions.

Ms. Latika Pradhan, Chairperson, State Social Welfare Board, Odisha ,has shared different Government schemes specially for adult girls and women. She said that women only can raise their voice and be noticeable if they get proper education and empowerment. Parent can feel the need of education and send their child to school for their child’s overall development not for mid day meal and complete their own work.

Dr. Reena Rautray, also gave emphasis on empowerment of women to face all the challenges. Mr. Gadadhar Parida, Former Collector, Koraput District, addressed and encouraged women for their work related to agriculture and development activities, awareness generation etc. He said if the change will come from family, then society would be changed automatically.

Among others Mrs. Vidhya Das, Joint Director, Agragamee, shared the actual problem of tribal area. She emphasized on girl education, forest land right and sustainability. Mrs. Sumani Jhodia, Tribal Women Leader, has spoke about the status of tribal sub- plan in tribal areas and implementation of Forest Right Act.

2nd State Level RTI Forum at Hotel Presidency on 20th & 21st December 2017

A good Governance is most important factor for the reach of Government information to the public. It is rightly says that there is no need of ‘Right To Education’ if ‘Good Governance’ is strong and implemented at the grass root level….This line was spoken by retired bureaucrat Mr. Aurobindo Behera at 2nd State Level RTI Forum.

With the collaboration of European Union and help of ten Projected Districts, Agragamee has organised 2nd State Level RTI Forum at Hotel Presidency on 20th and 21st December 2017. There are more than 100 numbers of District and Block level RTI Forum members from ten Districts were participated in this forum. They focused on important issues related to the theme i.e., how can be Government information and schemes reach to the public level and the people of remote and other villages could be benefited?

On this occasion, Chief guest Mr. Jagadanand, former Information Commissioner of Odisha, raised his voice for the implementation of Government Program at grass root level. He said that Government Programs and schemes would be successful if the public would be co-operate with Government. Honorable guest Mr. Rangalal Jamuda, State Food Commissioner, said that in most of the backward and tribal area, Government programs and schemes are far to reach due to lack of education and information.

At the beginning of the program, Mr. Achyut Das, Director, Agragamee, had presented brief introduction regarding Agragamee and its ten associated District Partner’s role on RTI. With the alliance of European Union, Agragamee has been working on five important sectors i.e., Education, ICDS, Health & Nutrition , Employment and E- Governance from the last four years(2014-2017). This work is implemented at 1000 Villages of 20 Blocks in 10 backward Districts of Odisha. They are mostly give important to RTI Section 4(1)(B) where it is clearly mentioned that people will be informed by asking their rights. Along with these work Agragamee has a vital role in women empowerment for various issues, increases women participation in Gram sabha and Palli Sabha, awareness of right to education,awareness of sanitation,health & nutrition of mother and infants etc.

In differrent session of this forum, Mrs. Sumani Jhodia, Mrs. Vidhya Das( Joint Director of Agragamee), Mrs. Benari Kahanr, Mr. Ashok Parida, Mr. Man Mohan Pradhan, Mr.Mukunda Sahu, Mr. Khyama Sagar Sunamudi, Dr. Ajaya Mishra and Dr. Narendra Mishra were participated in different panel for the better understanding of RTI and its scopes

The best part of this forum was women participation. They were CAG members, SMC members, Sarpanch,tribal leader, District and Block RTI members who presented their problems in front of panel and got positive response, solutions as well as encouraged for their involvement and efforts.

Creative Language Development Efforts, Sharing Workshops with Government officials in Nabrangpur District

A lively and interesting workshop in the Sadashiv Conference Hall in Nabrangpur brought together Government Officials, Academicians, SMC members and Civil Society organisation was organised in Nabrangpur District on the 24th April, 2018 under the USAID funded program Creative Language Development Efforts for a sharing on early grade reading and language development in the tribal regions. The DEO Nabrangpur, Shri Panigrahi inaugurated the workshop, and spoke about the sincere commitment of Agragamee in developing reading and learning amongst children, and also about the impact the program is having in the four schools taken up in the district.

This was followed by a presentation of the innovative methods adopted by Agragamee under the program on how words, images, proper nouns and rhymes can be used to involve children in learning to read. This lead intense and involved discussions amongst the participants on the causes of poor learning in the tribal schools, and the need for re-looking teacher training, teaching in multi-lingual situations, as also the need for going beyond formula oriented understanding of education to more creative and experienced based understanding of children’s learning. The program concluded with the unanimous agreement about giving teachers more support in every way to ensure quality education in the schools.

2nd State Level Workshop on Reading and Language Development in Tribal Areas (Creative Language Development Efforts)

Agragamee, organized “2nd State Level Workshop on Reading and Language Development in Tribal Areas “sponsored by USAID, READ Alliance and KKS on 12th and 13th May 2018 at Hotel Presidency, Bhubaneswar. Educationist, SMC members, Teachers, Social Activities, Linguist, Policy Makers and Educators from different parts of State and out of State joined the two day brain-storming discussion. Specific key points of the workshop were based on Methodology; Curriculum, course completion and meeting the targets: Problem of teaching first generation students; Quality in education: Defining quality and how it can be translated in classroom; Teacher development and training: how to build good teachers, what supports do they need?; English learning in schools: How to help teachers to teach students an unknown language?; and Institutional issues: Role of SMC, Government and NGOs for quality education in rural village schools.
The workshop was inaugurated by Noted Linguistics Padmashree Devi Prasanna Patnaik who shared from his experience that education on mother tongue is important for a child. He addressed to convert Odia language as the “Language of Knowledge and Language of Development” .A child can only develop its creativity and imagination with the help of mother tongue. He also shared that several steps has been taken by the Government for the implementation of “mother tongue based education” for tribal areas. But in reality, it was not practiced properly at the ground level.

Eminent Educationist and writer Ms. Vimala Ramachandran shared many things with examples. According to her after Independence, Government had appointed several commissions for the development of education of tribal children who emphasized and suggested on mother tongue based education for children, but it was not taken seriously by the government. As per her observation from decades on education system, she put a remark on certain points: need of change of attitude of teachers, importance of multi-lingual education, methodology of teaching in multi-lingual and multi-class situation in tribal areas. She also discussed on the development of self-esteem of tribal children at school level.

Mrs. Vidya Das, Joint Director ( Jamunalal Bajaj Award winer), Agragamee, presented Information of Education Programme implemented in the tribal pocket of Nawarnagpur,, Koraput and Rayagada district. She shared Agragamees’ experience in intervention of Quality Education in Tribal Areas.

Mr. Achyut Das, Director, Agragamee, spoke about the objective and vital need of the workshop. Among others Former Director, English Language Development Institute Prof. Manmath Nath Kundu; Ms. Balaka De, Programee Specialist, USAID, India; Dr. Aurobindo Behera, IAS (Retd.) ;Prof. Indira Vijaya Simha; Mr. Chudamani Seth, former Director, Primary Education, Govt. of Odisha; Mr. Binaya Krushna Patnaik,Educationist, UNICEF, Jharkhand; Prof. Ajit Mohanty, Retd Professor, Jawarlal Nehru University; Mr. Umi Daniel, Director, Ade-at Action; Ms. Basanti Mohanty, Writer ; Dr. Abhiram Biswal, noted colomuist and Reader in English, Nawarnagpur Collage; Mr. Anil Pradhan, Member-Secretary, Siksahsandhan,;Dr. Basudev Das, noted teacher educatior, Retd. Principal, DIET , Ms. Nirmala Kumari Mohapatra and many others Educationist also joined on this 2 days workshop.

State Level Organic Farmers’ Convention Organised by Agragamee (sponsored by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Germany) at The Institute of Engineers Bhubaneswar on 27th October 2017

State Level Organic Farmers’ Convention was organised by Agragamee (sponsored by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Germany) at The Institute of Engineers Bhubaneswar on 27th October 2017. Farmer from ten backward and tribal district were participated in this convention. Mr.R.Balakrishnan- IAS, Development Commision; Mr.Devinder Sharma- Distinguished Food and Trade Policy Analisist; Prof. Radhamohan- Eminent Environmentalist; Mr.Ranglal Jamuda-Chairman, Odisha State Food Commission; Mr.Basant Kar; Mr.Pravesh Sharma; Mr.EkadashiNandi; Mr.Raju Titus- Successful Organic Farmer were honorable Chief Guest of this Convention. This program was an unique aspect of participation of farmers and specialist in an important discussion related to various issues and remedies of organic farming.

Article on Vidhya Das published in Aljajeera

Kashipur, India – In a large, airy classroom in the village of Kashipur in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, there unfolds a scene rich in contrasts and ironies. A reading and writing class for the five-year-olds of prathama sreni, or first grade, proceeds alongside a parent-teacher meeting.

The children are all girls, for this is a primary school run by a local NGO, Agragamee, exclusively for girls from Scheduled Tribe or Scheduled Caste families – those groups, collectively making up about a fourth of India’s population, marked out by the Indian constitution as in need of special assistance from the state.
Click Here to Know More

Climate Smart Crops by Abhijit Mohanty

Tubers, pulses and millets are important for the livelihoods and nutrition of poor farmers, especially in fragile regions. These crops are not only underutilised, but are also under-researched. Ama Sangathan, a women federation consisting of 1200 indigenous women, have revived these crops in two blocks in Odisha, by their vibrant campaigning.
Click Here to Know More

PKVY(Paramparika Krishi Vikash Yojana/Indigenous Farming Development Programme)

PKVY(Paramparika Krishi Vikash Yojana/Indigenous Farming Development Programme)

It is a great opportunity and challenge for the Agragamee that the Government of Odisha has sanctioned a project to cover 2000acres in Rayagada and Koraput Districts to help small land holders/ tribal farmers take up their traditional agriculture to check the influx of Chemical Fertilisers and Pesticides. The farmers in 40 clusters will take a vow not to adopt anything Chemical and promote Organic and ecological Farming. This 3-year project will cover mostly rain-fed upland where Millets, Pulses, Oilseeds and , above all, Vegetables will be grown intensively. The farmers will be given training to produce their own manures, vermin-compost, bio-pesticides etc. Conservation of local seeds with bio-diversity will also be promoted. PKVY will show case the NRM related activities where soil, water and forest will play a role in ensuring Food and Nutrition Securities.