A tribal hamlet in Ernakulam will soon be elevated into a smart agri-village showcasing sustainable and self-reliant farming systems.
The project is rolled out by the Kudumbashree Mission. “It will have integrated approaches for ventilating a multitude of concepts like poverty reduction, food and nutritional security, national resource conservation, and livelihood diversification through agri-preneurships,” said Ragesh K.R., Assistant District Mission Co-ordinator, Kudumbashree, Ernakulam.
The smart agri-village is part of a series of welfare programmes initiated by the mission for tribal communities. According to a concept note prepared by the Kudumbashree Mission, the expected outcome of the smart-agri village is ensuring a dynamic system wherein the earnings of farmers get elevated through various farm activities and enterprises that are independent or inter-linked.
Mr. Ragesh said the setting up of smart-agri villages would enhance job opportunities among members of tribal communities. The mission has plans to create micro watersheds in nearly 500 hectares as part of the project.
Some components of a smart-agri village are organic farming, fish farming with other integrated cropping systems, bio-pharmacies, kitchen gardens, agro-clinics for crop protection, farmer field schools, and common facility centres. It will also have farmer collectives and showcase eco-preservation models.
The smart agri-village also includes marketing outlets with cold storages, unique practices for geographical indexing, livestock for added income, biogas units for energy production, and farm tourism.
Shyama K.S., Kudumbashree Mission co-ordinator for Scheduled Tribes in Ernakulam, said tailoring units and arrowroot powder involving women in tribal hamlets had been functioning successfully in the district.
“Each unit making arrowroot power consists of three members. Cloth materials for tailoring units are brought from Ernakulam on wholesale rates, and stitching is done in tribal hamlets,” she said.
The mission has plans to scale up employment opportunities in agriculture and start-up ventures involving tribal women in the months to come.