Since independence many food security schemes were announced and launched along with increase in agriculture and water resource development budgets. The purposes of these schemes were to provide livelihood security to all the citizens of the country. But the ill attitude of the implementation of these schemes made the whole system a totally defunct one. Still we are in the process of providing irrigation to all the agriculture lands. The incidents of starvation deaths and farmers suicides were increasing day by day.
At Agragamee, Right to Food has always been a major concern and we have been persistent advocates for nutrition security. Looking at the prevailing food security scenario, Agragamee along with Action Aid, Bhubaneswar initiated a project with the following objectives :
- To ensure all food security schemes for the most vulnerable families.
- To set up mechanism for availability of food to poorest families in distress in each village.
- To facilitate public action to influence district administration in favour of poor and marginalized families.
- To collect, preserve and distribute traditional grain and seeds in the villages.
- To help the poor and marginal farmers to develop their land and water system.
- To facilitate community action for compost and biofertiliser.
- To help poor and marginal farmers get support for cultivation.
- To develop linkages between micro action and macro advocacy in the state to address drought situation in the state.
The first community grain bank was established in 1983. Over the past two decades or so, Agragamee has established more than one thousand community grain banks in various tribal districts of Odisha. We also promoted the concept of savings among school-going children and women. Gradually, in quite a few villages, the savings amounted to 100-300 quintals of grain and twenty-five thousands rupees in cash. The strategy Agragamee developed to fight the problem of food scarcity in tribal areas has proved remarkably successful. It not only improved the tribals access of food during rainy season, it has also made it possible for them to escape the debt-trap.