International Conference 2021
This fortnight e-synergy has some of the eminent participants’ videos who speak on various issues related to food and agriculture.Download
As India grapples with the pandemic, MSSRF stands with farming and fishing communities in seven states, with who we have worked for over three decades, for evidence-based, environmentally sustainable, livelihood generating, and gender-sensitive development.
Our foremost concern has been increasing awareness of hygiene and sanitation and taking this key message through partners to our areas of work. Our years of communication experience has enabled us to react rapidly and innovatively at all our field sites.
The lockdown and the downturn in economic activity has hit rural communities hard. Relief to families deprived suddenly of livelihoods and incomes has been difficult to deliver, with major gaps in coverage as well as in appropriate nutrition. Uncertainty of what is permitted under lockdown, lack of clarity as administrative guidelines are fine-tuned and genuine fear of infection, have all contributed to slowing down the pace of the rural economy. The disruption of value chains that are crucial to enable market access to crops and fish produce has been staggering for small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers and fisher-folk.
Access to markets has become a major safety issue as well, as some wholesale and retail markets to which farmers and fisher-folk take their produce are potential centres of infection. If local supply chains have to benefit small producers, they also have to be sanitised and safe.
Action, going beyond relief, that provides the means to restore and enhance livelihoods and incomes even while learning to live with a virus that is likely to be with us for some time. We seek to meet this challenge with the right kinds of intervention, informed by our experience, expertise and values, towards lessons for larger, scalable initiatives from these interventions.
Our actions will be centred around the following themes:
The co-benefits of improved hygiene can have profound impact, beyond COVID-19 for a range of health and life outcomes.
Improving safe and sanitary handling of local produce, especially fish fish producers to compete effectively in markets with high levels of hygiene.
Providing key inputs for creating new opportunities for manual labour in rural areas, including returning and migrant labour, – that develop community assets. This will include both agricultural and non-agricultural activities.
Specific support to women headed households, and small and marginal farmers in agricultural for improved nutritional outcomes and incomes from crop production.
Given the scale of the current crisis, we consider it essential to work closely with the government, to ensure that the relief packages announced by the Centre and States in India deliver maximum benefits to communities we are engaged with. As a non-profit trust, our work is carried out with the aid of government grants and support besides the support of corporate, institutional and individual donors. Extraordinary times require extraordinary efforts. Our situation assessments (available here) have helped understand the gaps in the present scenario for relief and rehabilitation. Investment in agriculture and allied activities at this critical juncture, we believe, is the need of the hour and the way forward. Your support will help reach vulnerable farmer and fisher and labourer households in seven states in a more focused and impactful way.
All donations to MSSRF are eligible for IT exemptions under section 80G of IT Act, 1961.
For specific initiatives and partnerships, enquiries from foundations, philanthropies and CSR entities and donors outside India please contact via email: executivedirector(@)mssrf.res.in