MasterPeace India Views: Organic Kitchen Gardens
Promoting nutritional security in Odisha
Our club MasterPeace India-VIEWS (Voluntary Integration for Education and Welfare of Society) has been operating numerous projects to boost sustainable livelihood and quality health amongst marginalised and vulnerable communities. Their inspiring journey embraced another successful project under the title “Promoting Organic Kitchen Garden” aiming to boost nutrition and income generation by utilizing their own backyards for organic farming.
The project began in January 2021 in the rural districts of Ganjam and Gajapati, located in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. With an objective to promote nutritional security among 1900 households in tribal villages, VIEWS conducted the project with effective capacity building and training programs.
It all began with the establishment of the vermi-compost pits and bio-fertilizers along with capacity building training for farmers, with a special focus on women. Furthermore, supply of kitchen garden seeds kits, and water cane boosted smooth implementation of the project. The women farmers understood the opportunity that their own backyards and empty spaces posed towards building sustainable organic kitchen gardens and this certainly can bring massive change in their family and society. Because of this project’s broad layers of impact it successfully addresses SDG 1, SDG 2, SDG 3, SDG 8 and SDG 12 all at once.
This project took place in the context of the Covid pandemic which has had particularly adverse effects on the livelihood of low-income families. According to the media reports, nearly 10 lakhs migrants were back in Odisha’s Ganjam district. Although the rations provided by the government, initially, aided to get through the difficult lock-down period, problems began to mount within vulnerable households. Thus, the “organic kitchen garden” tackled the worry and anxiety of 800 households to manage daily foods.
Consequently, significant outcomes from the project are being seen. After establishing 246 low-cost vermi-compost pits and 300 water canes along with training for 800 women farmers about the organic kitchen garden concept, those households now enjoy organic vegetables from their own gardens and earn around 1000~2000 Indian Rupee monthly. This is just the beginning of promising prospects. Let us hear the story of Mrs. Sobha regarding how the organic kitchen garden changes her way of living:
“Mrs. Sobha Malik has small family of 6 members in Nakamudia village. For long, their major income source is selling firewood, thus it is costly to buy food from market. After joining the Organic Kitchen Garden program, she attended regular meetings and training and learned application of organic manure and liquid manure to grow vegetables in her 18.5 decimal of land. Eventually, she established a beautiful kitchen garden and grows Chilly, Brinjal, Tomato, Okra, Papaya and Drumtick. Now, her family has a healthy and nutritious diet and saving 2000 rupees monthly in addition.”
Hence, this is one of many impactful examples of VIEWS’s work to uplift the health, economy, and overall livelihood of farmers in their operational area. Besides, 3500 trees were planted, and 130 cleaning campaigns were organised from the Mastepeace club-VIEWS to protect the environment and to maintain hygiene.
In this way, the “Organic Kitchen Garden” project demonstrated a model that a locally initiated project has a strong foundation to empower vulnerable communities through well planned training, capacity building and support.
Are you inspired by the story? How would you transform this idea into your own community to change the lives of many people? Let us hear your story as well and most importantly, let us work together and grow together.