Story from SUNSAI: Arpan and his garden
Agriculture and nutrition share a common entry point: ‘food”. Food is a key outcome of agricultural activities and in turn is a key input into good nutrition. Without agriculture there is little food or nutrition, but availability of food from agriculture does not ensure good nutrition.
The NMA goal is to contribute to improved access to sufficient nutritious food for rural communities in mountain regions through a network of actors facilitating innovation and diversification of proven agro-ecological and other nutrition sensitive practices. Arpan Rai aged 34, is a small land holding farmer from Balbir Dhura hamlet of Mineral Springs under Darjeeling District; he is also one of the Rural Service Provider in our Capacity Development Programme in Nutrition Sensitve Agriculture who has taken up one of the Micro Intervention. He has started a vegetable garden diversifying with tomatoes, brinjal, maize, beans, fruits, climbers and seedlings of citrus varieties with the intention to increase agro-biodiversity and encourage nutrition sensitive agriculture. He is a hard working innovative and motivated farmer; he is not only taking forward his Micro intervention but also encouraging and influencing other young farmers of his community.
Arpan attended the 11th Bio-diversity fair and workshop organised by North East Network in Nagaland through NMA program. This exposure was to exchange the inherited knowledge about the food culture and agriculture practices, seed saving and seed sharing amongst the North Eastern communities. He brought indigenous seeds of different vegetables and crops from the fair and the seeds were distributed to the RSPs and selected farmers from the programme.
He has been promoting different types of techniques to promote crops in his farm so that the other community members can learn from his farm. The grinder machine for turmeric and ginger would be installed in his house where he has agreed to provide a room for this.