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Khetee, India

  • Definition
    Devising project idea, defining the aim and main components
  • Design
    Specifying details such as time-frame, budget, target indicators, project partners and relevant steps to reach the project objectives
  • Financing
    Searching and securing funding and investment, setting up relevant financing partnerships, and discussing payment modalities
  • Implementation
    Execution of feasibility studies, context analysis, plot design, planting and setting up facilities and starting with potential capacity-building
  • Maintenance
    Operational phase (monitoring and evaluation, impact assessments and adjustments, execution of educational programmes and long-term capacity building)
  • Scaling Up
    Scaling up phase is when the project it has already shown success by obtaining impact as well as economic results and it's ready to become replicable.

The Durdih community, living in remote Northern India, get almost all their food from small-scale farming – a practice that is increasingly threatened by climate change-related flooding. To counteract these damaging events, agroforestry has already been implemented on a small plot to provide farmers and their families with food security. 
Building on this foundation, the next phase of the project is to upscale climate-smart agroforestry across the Durdih communities’ farmland. This system will be more resilient against flooding, thus, securing important yields, while creating a range of additional benefits for the community and the environment.

Source: Khetee

A village threatened by climate change

Durdih’s farmers are increasingly feeling the impacts of global warming. Harvests are being devastated by extreme weather events such as droughts and floods of increased frequency and amplitude which threaten precious harvests. 

Durdih’s farms during dry season and increase the need for irrigation.
Increasing prevalence of droughts threatens Durdih’s farms during the dry season and increase the need for irrigation (Source: Khetee)

This year, the community lost its entire papaya harvest due to a combination of flooding and low-resilience farming practices such as monocultures. Losing harvests is especially severe for the Durdih community as it is located remotely from bigger cities. Thus, its people are largely dependent on their own agricultural outputs.

Upscaling an existing agroforestry plot 

The Durdih community has already implemented Regenerative Agroforestry across two acres of their farmland.  Now, the goal is to fine-tune the system and upscale it onto the remaining thirty hectares utilized by the community. 

Regenerative Agroforestry in Durdih community.
Successful adoption of agroforestry practices requires participation and ownership by the farmers. They have to be willing to drive the transition themselves. (Source: Khetee)

The tools: Education, capacity-building, and inspiration

Transitioning Durdih’s remaining farmland requires the participation of the farmers who own and utilize it. They decide what happens on their land and how. That is why reNature proposed a simple approach: 1) Inspire farmers by demonstrating the benefits of agroforestry and 2) support them in adopting the new system.

First, the existing agroforestry plot will be adapted to best showcase the system’s benefits. A functioning demonstration plot will act as a catalyst to inspire others to take on an agroforestry approach. Once they are willing to transition their farms from conventional- into agroforestry systems, we will offer them the necessary knowledge, tools, and capacities.

Introduction to Agroforestry
(Source: Khetee)

Farmers usually know best what works and what does not. They have been working their land for the longest. That is why it is vital for them to be closely involved in the decision-making processes. Their experience and guidance in the land will be crucial. reNature will apply participatory approaches to ensure a successful transition of Durdih’s farmland into Regenerative Agroforestry.

1

village

30 ha

agroforestry

2.500

beneficiaries

Source: Khetee

Supporting an entire community 

Most importantly, this project will benefit the farmers. Smart system planning will increase the reliability of yields and provide additional income streams. However, the project’s outreach will go beyond the farmland. It will reduce the Durdih community’s dependency on external food sales and empower it through increased self-sufficiency. Moreover, a functioning agroforestry system will increase water availability for drinking as well as farmland irrigation.

Large parts of the community rely on farm labor for their income – especially women who are very active as agricultural workers. However, extreme weather events and land degradation have led to a lack of profitability on Durdih’s agricultural land. Because of this, many people migrate away from the area in search of work. This project will restore the land through Regenerative Agroforestry and help the community build a future together. 

Durdih’s women are specifically active in local agricultural activities, often as manual laborers. They will be direct beneficiaries of improvements on the farm (Source: Khetee)

Fostering thriving ecosystems 

On the environmental side, the project will increase the resilience of plants and crops against extreme weather events. It will stabilize the local microclimate and the amounts of CO2 being stored in soil and biomass of the farms. 

Beyond the project boundaries, the planting of trees and shrubs will recharge much-needed groundwater levels in the area benefiting not only the community but also the surrounding ecosystems. This is especially relevant as the project site is located in a particularly dry part of India. Further, Regenerative Agroforestry will support local biodiversity – insects, animals, and plants – by providing habitats for a larger variety of species. 

An economic boost for Durdih’s farmers

The project will grant farmers with increased economic resilience based on the enhanced reliability of yields. Stable, as well as potentially increased yields, will boost capacities for self-financing and improve the value of their land. 

Source: Khetee

Furthermore, the increased diversity of income streams related to agroforestry protects farmers from economic losses in individual crops. While before the loss of the papaya harvests implied substantial economic drawbacks, an agroforestry system will provide a farmer with additional crops such as bananas, mangos, and chili. He can now sell those to balance out potential losses.

Khetee: Our local partner

For this project, Khetee will be our trusted partner on the ground. It is a local, Durdih-based NGO that has committed itself to the improvement of the agricultural situation in the state of Bihar. 

With Neeraj Kumar as their founder and director, they drive the promotion of agroecological practices and offer educational services for their network of farmers. Often, they employ interns and volunteers from all parts of the world to support them on their mission.

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Want to support Durdih’s farmers with the agroforestry expansion?

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