With more than 20 years of experience in Natural Resource Management in Kumaun, we have learnt from both our mistakes as well as our successes. Thus we are well placed to provide technical support to organisations that work in the same fields.
Grassroots Development Organisation (GDO) Watershed Development Programme
The genesis of this project lies in Chirag’s work as part of the Himmothan Pariyojna to identify, select and train ten Grassroots Development Organisations (GDOs) in Kumaun to plan and implement new watershed approaches in the region. These would then be developed as model watersheds in the Kumaun Himalayas.
During the first phase of the project, Chirag’s role was limited to identifying ten organisations to take part, training them and facilitating the preparation of watershed plans. It soon became evident however that training alone was inadequate and that there was a need for sustained field based support as well as additional capacity building. The second phase of the project commenced in 2005 with the selected I and II year GDOs (total 5) implementing the watershed methodology in their respective watersheds. This was accompanied by the selection of III year GDOs (total 5 including Chirag) and initiation of capacity building and planning for them. During the past three years periodic trainings and workshops have been organised both at the field level and centrally. Thematic workshops on fodder and water issues in the hills have also been held for the GDOs.
Catchment Area Protection (CAP) Support Programme:
This programme is part of the Water & Sanitation Programme under the Himmothan Pariyojana that is being implemented by 4 NGOs with funding support from the Sir Ratan Tata Trust. The programme is aimed at providing technical support and monitoring in implementing the CAP programme, which involves protection and augmentation of the catchment area of the water resources selected for providing drinking water to the communities. The programme is being carried out in 50 villages out of which the CAP programme is being carried out in 40 villages with support from Chirag. 4 monitoring teams have been established with one forester and one civil engineer in each team which visits the VAP villages quarterly.
Fodder Development Programme & Support Programme
Chirag’s first experience in fodder development started with SPWD from 1989-92, which proved to be a great learning phase. It was followed by a second phase from 1992-97, which involved fodder promotion with 300 farmers in 25 villages of Reetha and Kasiyalekh area. Six species of grasses were promoted as fodder grass including Orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata), Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea), Italian Rye (Lolium multiforum), Perennial Rye (Lolium perenne), Red clover (Trifolium pratense) and White clover (Trifolium repens). The focus of the project was on seed production and increasing fodder availability through interventions in private land. Although the focus of the intervention was on private land, the need for intervention on community lands was also strong. In 2007, with three other partner NGOs Chirag started a pilot project over a one-year period for fodder development with the help of Himmothan Cell. Activities undertaken involved development of village based fodder grass nurseries of selected species (Tall fescue, Cocks foot, Perennial rye, Brome in temperate areas and Napier and Ouns grass for sub-tropical zone), digging of contour trenches, plantation of grass rootstock and saplings of fodder trees; protection and management by the community. The Integrated Fodder-Livestock Development Project (IFLDP) has been started with an aim of addressing critical issues related to fodder and animal husbandry in Uttarakhand. The programme is being implemented in 63 villages by CHIRAG (34 villages), HSS (14 villages), HGVS (10 villages) and SIMAR (5 villages) . In each village, 3 ha of common land and 0.8 ha of private land will be covered thereby covering a total of 189 ha of common land and 50.4 ha of private land on which grass plantation and soil & water conservation measures will be undertaken. The programme is aimed at alleviating the fodder scarcity in the state using a multi-dimensional approach involving augmentation of fodder resources (broadleaved forests and pastures) through plantation, protection and management, introduction of improved fodder grasses (of better productivity and nutrient quality) and promoting methods of fodder preservation; and developing livestock-based enterprises as alternate livelihood options. Now, Chirag is acting as the nodal agency for the programme providing technical support and monitoring to 3 different partner organisations (POs), namely Society for Integrated Management of All Resources (SIMAR), Himalayan Seva Samiti (HSS) and Himalayan Gram Vikas Samiti (HGVS), who will implement the programme in their respective areas.