Mennonite Central Committee Canada is supporting DISHA with a three-year agriculture and livelihood project in 10 villages in Nuagaon block of Sundargarh district of Odisha state.
This project is a follow-up to activities started in a previous project. Poverty, limited livelihood opportunities and social exclusion are major contributors of food insecurity in these areas. A lack of diet diversity also compounds malnutrition as it is difficult for many villages to produce sufficient amounts of vegetables and store them year-round. Farming is a popular livelihood but is challenging due to land degradation, poor soil fertility and climate change.
In response, this project is continuing to focus on building sustainable agriculture and livestock raising skills among indigenous communities. Additionally, the project is working to create and sustain community organization groups. These groups are addressing issues of gender inequality, improve alternative income generation activities, and encourage farmers to share learnings and challenges in crop production. The project is also involving government stakeholders and advocating for reforms that ensure beneficiaries have the rights and means, such as land, to be food secure. Over the three years, the project is working with 629 households to benefit a total of 3,519 individuals.
The budget is $336,000.