The eco-village concept which draws major ideas and inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi's idea of Gram Swaraj is being upscaled to more villages with support from Karl Kubel Stiftung, Germany. It aims at creating self-reliant, economically developed, harmonious villages, and covers 1356 households in 3 Panchayats of two districts in Odisha. The success of the project is based on meeting the food and fodder needs of all people and cattle in the village, apart from promoting sustainable livelihood through horticulture development, prevention of alcoholism and promoting literacy.

The eight point memorandum for the eco-village development project is as follows :
  • There would be no brewing, sale or purchase of liquor and other intoxicants within the village premises.
  • All children must be sent to school or ICDS centres.
  • Cattle must be prevented from overgrazing.
  • There must be unity and harmony in the village.
  • Create and maintain a community grain bank.
  • There will be a Mahila Mandal that will take care of the project funds.
  • The premises of the village must be kept clean and hygiene levels maintained.
  • Forest land will be preserved and protected.
DISTRICT BLOCK GRAM PANCHAYAT VILLAGE NO. OF HOUSEHOLDS
Rayagada Kashipur Chandragiri Kebedi Durkhal Padampur Maligaon Dondabad 458
Munusgaon Tujher Kabatsil Singharkadak Kukudagad Bhatipas 408
Kalahandi Thuamul Rampur Mahulpatna Pondpus Lepuspadar Podapadar Chhabri Tikilipadar 490

The project titled, ”Addressing Land Degradation and Food Insecurity : Eco-village Development with Small Farmers in Tribal Areas : Cost Effective Approaches with Small Farmer Communities, Agragamee wanted to addressed the problems of tribal families for food security in 15 villages of Kashipur and Thuamulrampur blocks of Rayagada and Kalahandi district. All these villages are very interior to access and people do not get facilities for their livelihood sustenance from any sources. They are poor, illiterate, and not able to put forth their grievances in right forum and suffered due to food insecurities and malnutrition.

An extensive study, involvement with people, for a long time and assessment of the needs of the area covering 15 tribal villages in Kashipur and Thuamulrampur blocks have inspired us to propose the project for meeting the challenges of poverty alienation among the marginalized and landless families. During the village meetings, the people especially the women expressed their difficulties during crop failures and therefore they expressed to improve their life condition of the villages through Family Farming and optimum utilization of village commons.

The project, funded by Karl Kubel Stiftung (KKS), Germany will support Agragamee's objective of developing a cluster of ecovillages in one of the most neglected tribal region of the country. It would aim at securing sustainable livelihoods and improved standard of living of the people in the target area. This will have direct impact on health, social life and poverty reduction. Natural resources like land, water and forest will be managed to sustain the main livelihood resources of the target population. Establishment of farm families, development of commons, training and capacity for the tribals, Diversified agriculture production, promotion and protection of the environment through agro-ecological practices and supply of solar energy, portable drinking water, and provision of income generation sources to sustain the livelihood to alienate poverty.

Development Objective : To ensure the livelihoods enhancement, quality organic horticulture production and poverty reduction of tribal communities through Family Farming of 400 tribals in 400 acres.

Key Activities of the Project :
  • Eco Village Development
  • Community Infrastructure Development
  • Training and Capacity Building

Under this project, various capacity building activities in terms of organising orchard development, training to tribal stakeholders , land levelling, soil and water conservation and management, application of appropriate technologies in organic farming, food processing, integrated pest management in orchards, improving health care measures facilitating the process of fusion of modern and traditional approaches to marketing etc are the major activities. This will expedite and strengthen the ongoing empowerment process of and by CBOs, Mahila Mandals, SHGs, producers groups, farmers organisations, Joint Forest Management Committees and Panchayat bodies. Convergence of different development schemes and approaches of Govt. will be taken up simultaneously to strengthen the effort of project.