COMMUNITY GRAIN BANKING - Changing the lives of farmers
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- Edad 16
It is a well-known fact that food is the most basic necessity for survival. Then, come the other needs. So, ensuring food security for all the people in the world is the need of the hour. Now, let us look at a case study from the Kashipur District of Orissa, India where establishment of community grain banks by an NGO has changed the lives of the farmers living there.
Initially, the people living in that area were heavily dependent on the borrowings from the moneylenders for buying agricultural inputs, who charged exorbitant rates of interest. Therefore, the farmers did not have any surplus left after harvest since they had to pay their loans back. The alarming rate of deforestation had further increased the severity of problem as availability of food items such as fruits, tubers and mushrooms (which were used as emergency foods during the lean season) had reduced. Thus, the farmers fell into the cycle of debt and poverty.
An NGO named “Agragamee” which analyzed the situation in that area came up with Community Grain Banking as the solution to their problem. It trained the people of the community on the management of grain banks, record keeping, grain storage and calculation of interest on the money they lend through the grain banks. They also provided them with initial monitoring and support. Therefore the farmers were now able to sustain their livelihoods, earn more profits and the people need not depend on the money lenders anymore. The community was able to attain food security. By looking at this case study, we can understand the importance of community grain banks and the role of NGOs in ensuring food security.