- Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi Research Foundation
Gandhi Teerth, Jain Hills PO Box 118,
Jalgaon - 425 001 (Maharashtra), India

Agriculture & Rural Development



“Earth provides enough to satisfy every manís need, but not every manís greed″
– Mahatma Gandhi (1869 to 1948)

Objectives

1. To translate Gandhijiís ideology pertaining to economic & social development based on village as a self–sufficient unit by taking necessary steps for implementing his thought, ideas & plans for advancement of rural India & treat this aspect as one of the principle missions of the Foundation.

2. To undertake programs & projects in areas including agriculture, rain–water harvesting, watershed planning, research, crafts, technology, commerce printing, publishing & micro–credit banking dispersed throughout rural India.

3. To improve the quality of life of the rural people by alleviating poverty through the instrument of self–employment & wage employment programmes, by providing community infrastructure facilities such as drinking water, electricity, road connectivity, health facilities, rural housing & education and promoting decentralization of powers to strengthen the Panchayat Raj Institution.

4. To execute project for preservation of available literature, documents, books, volumes, films & documentaries, and micro–films, to make Gandhi literature available to research students/scholars, for applying Gandhijiís philosophy in regard to integrate rural development & run/assist academic institution of education & offer fellowships, certificates etc.

The Faculty

Gandhian concept of rural development is that progress of the country lies in the development of majority of its rural villages. The only way of bringing hope of good living to the rural people is by making the village the central place in the economic programme and by making them self sufficient. For marching ahead on rural development path GRF have a robust team of Techno–Commercial–Social–Spiritual–Gandhian professionals as well as a dedicated team of agricultural, horticultural scientist & professionals having a vast practical experience in the field of agriculture & rural development.

Activities of Agriculture & Rural Development

Rural Development Initiative: (Gramshilpiís) Village Facilitator Program

Gramshilpi Phase I

Forty young men from five selected villages (namely Wakod, Jambhol, Mohadi, Takarkheda, and Shirsoli) were identified as prospective “Gramshilpis″ or village facilitators. From 10th to 16th January 2009 a training programme on development issues was organized for them at Wakod. The topics discussed included environmental conservation, water harvesting, empowerment of self–help groups and information was provided on various Government programs. The young villagers were sensitized about important issues like communal harmony, the duties of citizens, the need for peopleís participation etc.

Gramshilpi Phase II

Twenty young people from the initial team of forty, who were provided training at Wakod, were selected for this training, which was organized on 10th and 11th February 2010 at Jain Hills, Jalgaon. The topics included information on types of soils, sub–soils, the quality of water and requirement of water for each crop, the need for arranging gully–plugs in the water canals of the villages, the importance and process of vermi–composting for soil enrichment, nursery preparation for plants, various aspects of village development and conflict resolution.

  Training on vermi composting
  A youth group participating in training program

International Workshop on Eradication of Poverty in Rural Community

The workshop initiates the Empowerment for Peace through Leadership in Agribusiness and Sustainability (EmPeace LABS) project conducted in frame of a partnership between Gandhi Re–search Foundation (GRF), Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. (JISL), and Arizona State University (ASU). The EmPeace LABS project is coordinated by University–Community Partnerships for Social Action Research (UCP–SARnet). EmPeace LABS 2012 is an international leader–ship training workshop that will utilize proactive working sessions and “hands on experiences″ to develop its participantsí leadership and entrepreneurship skills, and sustainable practices in the area of agribusiness and water management techniques in order to build peaceful, prosperous communities. The workshop will initiate a 5 year project (2012–2017). that will repeat annually and will be followed by similar trainings organized locally in various participating countries. Initially Cameroon, Ghana, Gambia, India, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zimbabwe are being targeted.

EmPeace LABS 2012 is 7 days working sessions includes following topics
– Water for Agriculture
– Efficient water management & sanitation
– Agriculture & Peace
– Organic Farming
– Women as Community Leader
– Community Building & Community Leadership
– Agriculture Economics & Micro–finance

National Level Trainings

Imparting practical training in all subjects from crop production to marketing of produce, with a training concept of “Learning by Doing″ & seeing is believing. The experts and trainees together form a network of knowledge, where not only transfer of knowledge takes place, but also new knowledge is developed.

Programme Structure: The training programs currently being offered are of short duration on following topics.

– Watershed Planning: Rainwater harvesting, wasteland transformation, water management.
– Horticulture & Controlled Agriculture: Green/ Shade house design, installation, operation & maintenance, agronomy.
– Organic Farming: Bio Pesticides, Vermicompost, manure.
– Crop Specific: Irrigation, Fertigation, Agronomy, Plant protection.
– Field Visits: Corporate, contract and farmers field visits.
– Micro Irrigation, Sprinkler System and Conduit water Conveyance systems: Design, installation, operation, maintenance, irrigation/ Fertigation scheduling, piping for lift irrigation projects, water works, water and wastewater treatment facilities.

Languages of Communication in Training: Marathi, English, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu. Translator assisted in any other language.

States from India: Assam, AP, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal, Karnataka, Maharashtra, MP, Manipur, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, TN, Uttaranchal, UP.

Countries: Sri Lanka, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kyrgyzstan.

Extension Services: 3 open air facilities with about 2000, 4000 & 5000 person capacities for conferences, seminars, symposia, tradeshows, exhibitions, workshops, farmersí meals, etc.

A youth group participating in training program

Field Visit

GRF conducts regular field visit for large and small farmers. It is ensured that each and every worker is aware of the technicalities as well as with good agricultural practices.

Environmental Conservation Activities

GRF has undertaken tree plantation in order to protect the environment. Fifty trees were planted at Shirsoli (PB) in 2010. Considering the importance of water conservation and management, Gandhi Research Foundation with the help of farmers has developed check dams in the villages Takarkheda and Kadholi of Jalgaon District of Maharashtra State, India. As a result free flowing water has percolated into the ground, thereby increasing the ground water level in the nearby wells as well as tube wells.

A check dam constructed with the help of villagers

Biodiversity Conservation Activities

GRF is situated at Jain Hill area of Jalgaon District of Maharashtra State, India. Much work has been done in Jain Hills for soil and water conservation, resulting in increased green cover. Eighty per cent of area is under some kind of plantation which includes horticulture, agriculture, agro–forestry & forestry plantation.

Various works undertaken in biodiversity conservation is , Seed bank, Apiculture for biodiversity (beekeeping), Bird Conservation Programme and Native Botanical Garden. Under this project listing of various species is carried out throughout our farm areas mainly Jain Agri Park area which is known as “Jain Hills″. Total 150 species of Flora & 131 fauna is listed. In this project listing is of native and other species and it includes forest areas and natural conservation areas which are adjacent to our farm areas.

Afforestation and Biodiversity
– Total number of trees planted: 1,16, 221.
– Quantum of plant and animal species protected: 150 species of flora and 131 fauna
– Biodiversity Indexing
– Nutrient mapping
– Each year 25,000 planting work is done and 10–12 % is survival rate, we are trying to improve
– the survival rate.
– Plants are irrigated with drip irrigation, on slope they are allowed to grow naturally.

Ladybird Beetle
(Coleoptera coccinellidae) on flower
Langur (Presbytis entellus) are in abundance
at Jain Hills,India


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