1) Five Gunthas Experiment

Sinnar is basically a rain fed area. Apart from limited water resource available, farmers do agriculture in a traditional way. Also the liquidity of a farmer is very low as he gets his income after every six months or so depending upon the nature of agriculture activity. Hence it makes the farmer believe that agriculture is no longer an economically viable activity. But it is not the same. The approach of a farmer needs to be changed. This lead us to develop five gunthas experiment.

It is a scientific and economically viable method of doing agriculture wherein farmer is linked with market every day. The area of agriculture land is divided into small plots of 5000 sqft and a cropping vegetable is sowed and after 15 days another plot is sowed with other type of vegetable and so on and so forth. Normally more than 3 types of vegetables are recommended and accordingly a cropping pattern is developed. This helps the farmer to get the yield everyday and sell in the market. Also less of labour force is required to work on small plots. This has resulted in increasing the farmers liquidity and his economic sustainability. We have trained 200 odd farmers to undertake this process and this has helped them to earn around Rs 2000-5000 per day.

2) Producer company (Farmers owned enterprise)

Current scenario depicts that landholding is reducing day by day. On one hand input cost is increasing and on the other farmers are not getting right price for their produce. So the main challenge is how the farmers can be mobilized together on a common platform to enjoy the benefit of bargaining power. Yuva Mitra has been successful in mobilizing the farmer community and promoting a producer company named Devnadi Valley Agricultural Producers’ Company Limited. Producer company is a hybrid between Cooperative and Private limited company which has enabled the farmers to remain at the core of decision making. It is for the farmers, by the farmers and of the farmers. Currently we have 650 farmers as members of this company under which we have started Agri Mall. Producer company is a platform to enable farmers to increase their bargaining power and bring them on a competitive footing with other agriculture related entities.

We have been instrumental to provide hand holding support to 3 other producer companies in Maharashtra, 2 in Nashik and One in Nagpur.

3) Bio Diversity conservation

Yuva Mitra has carried out Bio Diversity conservation activity with the help of children. With this unique activity, children have got exposed to the existence of different natural resources, understanding their importance in human life and a need to maintain an ecological balance. Children were instrumental in developing a Bio Diversity register on their own.

4) Weekend School

It aims to create learning spaces for rural children to enhance their life skills. WEEKEND SCHOOL is a space where children are provided with opportunities to learn things they like, to learn skills they are unknown about, to develop themselves physically, mentally, intellectually and socially and all this with their own choice. Their Development and their Participation are of utmost importance. Resources are made available by Yuva Mitra. The atmosphere here help them to-

  • Connect their knowledge with the world outside school
  • Liberate learning from books and memorizing and
  • Utilize learning for their overall development

We have been successful in running the Weekend school since last one year. In the first batch we have been able to make a difference in the lives of 25 children. This year we have 27 students.

5) Aundhewadi Drinking water Project

Aundhewadi is an adivasi village having a population of around 800 people. It is a village based at the foothills of Aundhepatta mountain. Normally a woman at this village has to travel around 4-5 kms to fetch drinking water. Government had spend money under Jal Swarajya Yojana but was not able to make available even a single drop of water to these villagers.

Yuva Mitra was able to

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tap a Perennial water flow in those mountains and divert the same to this village through gravitational force. Yuva Mitra’s intervention helped the villagers to get fresh drinking water and also enable them to use the excess water for agriculture. As a result of this activity we were able to tap around 1,50,000 litres of water daily.

6) Regeneration of Diversion based Irrigation on Dev River

Devnadi is a prominent river in Sinnar Block. In 1870 British government had built check dams on this river. There are 20 check dams built on this river by British government. Each check dam has a canal, which is further divided into sub-canals to take water to farms. The gravitational flow ensured that water reaches till the tail end. But over a period of time these dams got deteriorated as it was broken down in parts. Moreover there was no initiative from people for its maintenance since its existence was almost washed out from their minds.

Yuva Mitra realized the same and concluded that loss of community control over water resources is the root cause of such problematic situation in villages. Hence we decided to take up work to regenerate the DBI system involving local communities. The project focused on promotion of DBI and formation of Water User Associations in each village for regeneration of water source and judicious use of water. With the help Sir Dorabjee Tata Trust, we were able to repair 5 check dams which resulted in bringing 1550 hectare under irrigation.

Yuva Mitra envisage the importance to make the farmers learn scientific ways of doing agriculture, adaption to climate change and conservation of natural resources which will result in development of sustainable agricultural practices.