Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture

Living with floods – Adaptive strategies of local communities

Recurring floods

Local communities have always found ingenious ways to overcome adverse conditions like floods, which affect not only farming but also lives and livelihoods. Over centuries, people have evolved ways and means to adapt to this natural phenomenon and have learnt to live with flooding situations. The geography of eastern Uttar Pradesh makes the region naturally […]

Land grabs are cheap deals for rich countries

Land grabs are cheap deals for rich countries

Based in Oakland, California, the Oakland Institute is a policy think tank with a mission to increase public participation and promote open debate on important social, economic and environmental issues. It aims to stimulate public discussion and debate and to “reframe the basic terms on which public debate takes place”. Anuradha Mittal established the institute […]

Communities revive traditional water springs

Water source in Bajeena village

Women of Bajeena village are taking active role in managing water resources. With TERI’s support, besides their access to drinking water being improved, communities feel that the people’s knowledge and skill levels in managing water resources has been enhanced. Traditional springs, called naulas, are the main source of drinking water in Bajeena, a village in […]

Learning from traditional social institutions

Group discussions by village communities

The traditional management of Mudiyanur tank provides an interesting example of a system of management that ensured fair distribution of water to the land of all households, promoted respect for different roles in society, and sought to resolve conflict between different parties in as harmonious a manner as possible. The practices were found effective not […]

The role of a local committee in changing times – Irrigation management in the Himalayas

Local communities taking part in irrigation management

The Trans-Himalayan region of Nepal is often referred to as the country’s desert. Water is a scarce resource that has traditionally been managed through local norms and institutions. The remoteness of the region has limited the role and influence of the central government. Although the locally managed irrigation system has been running for centuries, recent […]

Oases of productivity – A case of Small scale watershed development

Rainwater impounded in contour trenches

Small scale watershed development is a viable way to improve degraded ecosystems, create diverse livelihood opportunities for rural people and build stable ecosystems. Aseema trust demonstrated this on a small area of 14 acres in the tribal villages of Maharshtra. The monsoons are up once again and the reports in the newspapers are familiar. Heavy rains are flooding some parts […]

Community Biodiversity Management (CBM) fund for sustainable rural finance

Farmers distributing CBM fund in Shankarpur

Community empowerment is a driving force to motivate rural people for conservation efforts. Access to knowledge and financial resources are basic requirements for the community to translate their acquired knowledge and skills into practices that lead to their well being. The CBM fund is used as a mechanism to achieve the twin goal of biodiversity […]

The Narayana Reddy Column

Narayana Reddy

Timely credit is the key Before 1970, in rural India, borrowing money was a shameful act. In 1971, I borrowed Rs. 5000 from a rich family from my neighbouring village as a goodwill loan without any interest. My father abused me even though I wanted to use that money to buy land. Surprisingly, by the […]

Arecanut chain – adding value with lower environment impact

Arecanut chain

Arecanut (or Betel nut) plays an important and popular part in Asian culture, especially in India. Arecanut is a widely grown cash crop in the malnad belt (hill belt) of Karnataka. A significant portion of Shimoga and its immediate neighboring districts is an agrarian economy belonging to this hill belt. Arecanut is among the most […]

Bank credits – boon or bane?

Bank credits – boon or bane

Big loans are a great risk for small groups. Investments should match the group’s ability to save and produce. Strengthening groups, forming federations and building up group fund is a better option of accessing timely credit, also leading to building up social capital. Dulal, an NGO in Orissa has been working with community groups helping […]