In order to support the poor rural households, Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM), a mission run by Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, created 76,664 ‘Agri Nuti Gardens’ in a week. Rural India is showing the way with the establishment of over 78 lakh Agri Nutri Gardens towards ensuring food and nutritional security.
DAY-NRLM observed ‘Agri Nutri Garden Week’ from 10-17 January, 2022 through awareness campaigns and encouraging the establishment of ‘Agri Nutri Gardens’ in rural households. It is the mission’s agenda to support every rural poor household to have Agri Nutri Garden to fulfil the need of the family’s nutrition and any excess production can also be sold for income generation.
The initiative is also helping in promoting nutritional awareness, education and behavioural change in rural areas involving farm women and school children, harnessing traditional knowledge through the local recipe to overcome malnutrition and implementing nutrition-sensitive agriculture through homestead agriculture and nutri-garden.
As part of this programme, DAY-NRLM also organised a webinar on 13th January, 2022, in which over 2000 women participated from 700 locations. Joint Secretary, Rural Livelihoods (RL), Government of India congratulated all the state and union territory missions for doing great work towards ensuring the food and nutritional security of rural India. He motivated all the State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLM) and the women farmers from the field to saturate all the households with agri nutri gardens and said that the plan must be to cultivate various vegetables and fruits in these gardens so as to fulfill the need of comprehensive household nutrition.
As part of the knowledge sharing, five SRLMs namely Odisha, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir presented in the webinar their best practices and showcased their work towards the establishment of agri nutri gardens. Some women entrepreneurs also shared their stories in the webinar. Sumitra Kewal from Madhya Pradesh and Arti Kumari from Jharkhand narrated their stories in the webinar which encouraged all the participants to do even better.
Sumitra Kewal, Community Resource Person (CRP) from Madhya Pradesh attended the webinar from her agri nutri garden and showed her nutrition garden. She said that she was cultivating 10 types of fruits and vegetables in her agri nutri garden which fulfilled the need of nutrition of her family and she also sold her excess produce to earn extra income. Around 280 SHG (self-help group) households are there in her village and she has saturated the village too. Now all the households have agri nutri gardens with a variety of vegetables and fruits.
Arti Kumari, CRP joined from Bengabad, Jharkhand and she said, that all the nutrition needed in terms of vegetables and fruits have been fulfilled by the agri nutri garden. In this pandemic situation, she has been able to take care of the nutrition requirement of her family from this agri nutri garden.
Both the women farmers admitted that now less money was being spent towards medical expenses as they were able to get nutritious and chemical-free food which they have grown themselves in their own agri-nutri gardens.
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