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Aaranyak takes HEC-affected women to Pabhoi Greens on exposure trip

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Guwahati, April 8: Aaranyak, one of the region’ s foremost research-driven biodiversity
conservation organisations, facilitated a training cum exposure visit for the human
elephant conflict (HEC)-affected women of Badlapara village in Udalguri district to
Pabhoi Greens at Biswanath Charilai of Assam.
The initiative has been designed with the aim of instilling a deeper understanding of
how to establish and manage a homestead garden and nursery among the women.
In fact, the women who don’t even get a chance to come out of their villages were
encouraged to step out of their village homes for the first time. On March 4, the women
of the village had the opportunity to interact with the entrepreneur of Pabhoi Greens
Neelam Dutta (Assam Gaurav Awardee, 2023) who is an excellent example of
entrepreneurship in this field.
Homestead gardens are effective means for conservation of forest & biodiversity
holding significant contribution in increasing forest cover, decreasing forest
dependency and sustaining livelihoods.
This initiative was part of Aaranyak’s ongoing project “Community based integrated
approach to facilitate Human Elephant Coexistence and Biodiversity Conservation” in
Udalguri District, Assam under the aegis of UNDP-GEF Small Grant Programme and
Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC), Govt. of India
Implemented by TERI.
The HEC-affected women were elated to see hundreds of varieties of tomatoes,
capsicum, chillies, eggplants, lettuces, herbs among other vegetables. They were
introduced to concepts which were new to them such as Zero tillage farming, Paddy
cum Fish cultivation, Tissue culture, Seed conservation methods and panchagavya,
jivamrit, cow urine and neem based biopesticides.A Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, recognised by the DSIR, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of
India,Registered under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 with registration number 3096 of 1989-90
They were exposed to the whole process starting from field to collection, preservation
and packaging of seeds. Land preparation to post harvest management for selected
crops in their homestead garden was also a part of the training.
Apart from farming practices they were also exposed to fisheries farming, paddy
cultivation, paddy cum fish cultivation and vermicompost preparation. The participants
were spellbound by the beauty and potential of the farm.
“After visiting here, I am motivated to do something of this kind on my own and I am
certain I will do it”, Magrita Mochahary, a woman who took part in the exposure trip,
said.
This exposure visit provided the farmers with proven farming techniques and they
could see the practical example of sustainable practices which they can integrate in
their farming system.
The programme was led, managed and coordinated by senior official of Aaranyak
Jayanta Kumar Pathak. Other Aaranyak officials Bobby Nath, Arup Kumar Das, Dr
Banasree Sharma, Rabiya Daimary, Bikas Tossa and Haben Mochahary also attended
the programme.

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