Site selection visit – Madhubani
The selection of trial sites to pilot interventions should be driven by an analysis of the social and biophysical context of the site.
We are required to commence our field trials in the coming Rabi season. The plan is for Partners to present the trial sites that have been selected in each village at the project meetings on 9th and 10th September 2015. This will include information on the technical interventions chosen and the social and biophysical context of each site.
The attached document (click on link below) provides general considerations regarding intervention and site selection. Three important processes necessary in site selection are outlined and a range of institutional and technical interventions are described.
[Article: Intervention-site-selection-procedure-26 June 2015]
Members of the project team had site visits on 9 May with our partners CDHI and UBKV . This photo a debrief of all project staff for our West Bengal , Dhologuri site following discussions with the local Farmers Club and self help groups on needs assessment.
Project team debrief at Dhologuri
The communities have a strong desire for knowledge and interest to participate in this research for development program. There is a keen awareness of the supply chain and market opportunities and challenges when introducing dry season high value crops. Many expressed their hunger for knowledge and interest in better community based farming systems and strengthening of local institutional capacity. Access to reliable dry season water sources from the river, tube wells and ponds were discussed and possible sites to trial interventions were visited. The community will convene to guide final selection.
We have all been shocked by the events that have occurred in Nepal over the last week. The devastation and loss of life following the earthquake and aftershocks and difficulties the communities face are hard to come to terms with.
Many of our partners and colleagues have been impacted by this. Thankfully all are safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all. We hope that with time life will return to normal.
Our project plans have of course been impacted by this. We are progressing field visits to West Bengal, Madhubani and Bangladesh in May. We have postponed our Forum in Patna to a later date.
The updated itinerary has been loaded in the DropBox account for partners reference.
We are looking forward to good engagement during our May field visits, regional steering meetings and the annual research forum for our project. Highlights include:
• Field visits to each village
• Regional Steering Committee Meetings
• A Research Forum – Patna 15th May
• Management Committee Meeting – Patna 16th May
The Itinerary for these events and related information has been placed on the DropBox account.
The Field Visits will allow us to
a) Discuss/Confirm intervention sites within each village
b) Discuss potential interventions (with partners and community)
c) Consider what equipment will be needed
d) Meet local stakeholders to raise awareness and provide capacity development.
e) Refine work schedule and tasks with Partners
f) Collect data and provide training
Regional Steering Committee Meetings are being held to discuss and plan local issues as identified below.
• Govt offices : Biratnagar – 7th May
• CDHI : Jalpaiguri – 11th May
• Sakhi offices : Madhubani – 14th May
• BRRI Offices : Bangladesh – 18th May
The Management Committee Meeting in Patna 16th May at the ICAR offices Parisar will be an important meeting to integrate feedback from all partners across regions and monitor the progress of the project.
A highlight will be the Research Forum – Patna 15th May – ICAR offices Parisar
where we will have a chance to share research progress and discuss our research plans.
The project is beginning to ramp up nicely and it will be great to use our visits and discussions to empower each other as we progress this interesting and important work.
Fraser Sugden provides an update on site selection at Madhubani and Saptari and development of survey questionnaires.
Some initial site selection questionnaire data has been collected for three villages in Madhubani by the Sakhi team and Anoj Kumar, while a scoping visit to 7 villages of Saptari took place this week by Fraser Sugden, and Narayan Prasad Sah, who will be the full time representative for the local partner NGO working under iDE – Krishak Samuha Sangh. The field team was struck by the diversity of exciting opportunities to pilot a different combination of interventions in each of the proposed villages and the enthusiasm of the community members, and it will be a challenging task to shortlist the final two communities in each district.
A survey development day was held on the 20th November at National University of Singapore, Institute of Water Policy. Prof Wu Xun, Namrata Chindarkar, Joost Buurman, Yyvonne Jie Chen, Stuti Rawat and Fraser Sugden were present. The primary aim of the meeting was to finalize the household questionnaire used for activity 2.1, identifying the socio-economic context in the communities. The meeting prove to be a valuable opportunity for members of the socio-economic team to utilize their diverse expertise and develop a focused questionnaire. The final draft has now been completed, and will be circulated to the larger research team for comments shortly.
It has been almost a month since we gathered in Kathmandu for our Inception and Planning meetings. It was our plan to communicate with delegates within a month to discuss progress and activities.
First of all a big thank you for your participation and engagement. We had approximately 40 delegates attend each of the 3 days. Participation was fantastic and we all valued the chance to share ideas. A lot has been happening since then, including initial visits to many of the potential villages to make final site selection.
Improving water use for dry season agriculture by marginal and tenant farmers in the Eastern Gangetic Plains
ACIAR Project number LWR/2012/079
The Eastern Gangetic Plains, which include the Nepal Tarai, Bihar and West Bengal regions, is one of the most densely populated, poverty stricken belts in South Asia. Behind this persisting poverty are deeply entrenched social structures of class and caste, with a high incidence of inequitable landlord-tenant relations. This is combined with poor access to irrigation water in the dry season, limited irrigation capacity and low agricultural innovation. Earlier research in the Indo-Gangetic basin established the interactions between poverty and access to water. At present technical, social and economic constraints have limited the effective use of groundwater and ponds for irrigation, and large areas of land remain fallow during the dry months. Access to year round water for irrigation would significantly promote the productivity of agriculture, improving incomes and food security. Marginal and tenant farmers, youth and women are the target set of farmers who could benefit from a new approach to irrigation provision.