MSSRF signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on July 2, 2018 with the Directorate of Agriculture and Food Production (DoA& FP), Govt. of Odisha, Bhubaneswar, for the implementation of the Project “Strengthening Livelihoods and Enhancing Food and Nutrition Security of Small and Marginal Farmers in Koraput District of Odisha through a Farming System Model”. The MoA was signed by Dr. V. Selvam, Executive Director, MSSRF, Chennai and Dr. M. Muthukumar, Director, Agriculture and Food Production, Govt. of Odisha.
MSSRF will implement this project in 25 hamlets/villages in 2 gram panchayats in Boipariguda Block in Koraput district. The Project will reach out to 1,500 small and marginal farmers’ households, for improving their health, nutrition and livelihoods by ensuring availability and access to nutrient-rich food in a farming system model. The project will be implemented over three years with a project cost of Rs. 3.78 crore..
The project has the following specific objectives:
- Promoting production of nutrient-dense foods (millets, pulses, fruits and vegetables, backyard poultry and aquaculture), both for consumption and commerce;
- Reduction of post-harvest losses through initiatives like support for safe community level food storage, processing and conservation and support for market linkages;
- Nutrition awareness for the community (farming communities and consumers as a whole) on agriculture-nutrition linkages.
The key expected outcomes of the project are:
- 70 percent of targeted households will have greater understanding on nutrition-sensitive agriculture at community level.
- 50 percent of target households will have adopted nutrition-sensitive agriculture practices at community level.
- Increase in the yield of nutrition dense crops by 20 percent and enhanced income from produce by 30 percent due to improved variety of seeds and cultivation practices.
- Availability of improved variety of seeds at low cost within the villages due to establishment of village seed bank facility
- Availability of technology and knowledge within the village; members of community will be trained by MSSRF
- Increased area, availability and volume in the production of nutrient-dense crops per unit area.
- Improved dietary diversity
- Increased income of smallholder farmers targeted under the project, by 10-20 percent.
- In addition, the project will contribute to improved health outcomes
During the meeting, Director Agriculture & Food Production said MSSRF was a pioneer working on nutrition-sensitive agriculture in Odisha and this project is the first of its kind in the state linking agriculture with nutrition, with the support of the Govt. of Odisha. The Director noted that documentation of the results along with good outcomes would play a key role in upscaling the project in other districts of Odisha. Dr. V. Selvam, Executive Director, MSSRF assured that MSSRF will implement the project in a scientific way and would document the success of the project in a systematic manner.
Additional Director of Agriculture Sri Pramod Kumar Mishra; Deputy Director of Agriculture (Plan) Sri, Suresh Chandra Pal; State consultant RKVY Cell, Sri Nimai Charan Swain; Agronomist RKVY Cell Sri Basant Kumar Dey; Farm Management Specialist (RKVY cell) Sri Rajkishore Das; AAO (HQ) Sri Sanjay Kumar Pani; AAO (BGREI) Sri Saroj Kanta Chand, PPO(HQ) Sri Sachidanda Panda; Agriculture Information Officer (NFSM Cell) Sri Saroj Kanta Das, AAO Santosh Kumar Beheraand 30 senior officers from the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment, Govt. of Odisha; along with Mr. Akshaya Kumar Panda, Mr. Prashant Kumar Parida and Dr. S.Malarvannan from MSSRF were present on the occasion.