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Agriculture as a source of income for NRLM SHGs in Pulwama

The J&K Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKRLM) has been instrumental in empowering women through Self-Help Groups (SHGs)
11:39 PM Feb 26, 2024 IST | Arsheed Ahmad
agriculture as a source of income for nrlm shgs in pulwama
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Arsheed Ahmad Bhat

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The Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKRLM) in Pulwama district takes pride in the fact that 37,000 households have found empowerment through the formation of 3,700 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) under the NRLM fold, fostering economic resilience and community bonds. JKRLM committed to livelihood initiatives extends across both farm and non-farm sectors, with 33 Milk Societies, 2 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), and 21 Producer Groups in place.

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The Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihoods Mission (JKRLM) has been instrumental in empowering women through Self-Help Groups (SHGs) engaged in various livelihood activities. In Pulwama, agriculture emerges as a pivotal sector for income generation among JKRLM SHGs.

Pulwama, nestled in the picturesque Kashmir Valley, boasts fertile land and a conducive climate for agriculture. The region is renowned for its production of apples, saffron, and various other crops. Despite its potential, agriculture faces challenges such as land fragmentation, limited access to modern technology, and weather vagaries.

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JKRLM SHGs in Pulwama have embraced agriculture as a means of sustainable livelihood. These groups, predominantly comprising women, leverage collective strength to engage in various farm activities. They cultivate crops, rear livestock, and undertake allied activities like dairy farming and poultry.Agriculture serves as a reliable source of income for JKRLM SHGs in Pulwama. By cultivating high-value crops like apples and saffron, these groups capitalize on market demand, fetching lucrative prices for their produce. Additionally, diversification into allied activities ensures year-round income and resilience against market fluctuations.

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Despite the potential, JKRLM SHGs face challenges such as limited access to credit, inadequate infrastructure, and post-harvest losses. To address these issues, interventions such as capacity building, access to microfinance, technology dissemination, and establishment of market linkages are imperative.

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The engagement of JKRLM SHGs in agriculture has brought about socio-economic transformation in Pulwama. Women's empowerment, poverty alleviation, and enhanced food security are among the notable impacts. Moreover, the adoption of sustainable farming practices fosters environmental conservation and long-term viability. Agriculture emerges as a pivotal source of income for NRLM SHGs engaged in farm activities in Pulwama. Through collective efforts and interventions, these groups harness the potential of agriculture, contributing to their socio-economic empowerment and the overall development of the region.

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Asiya Jan, a member of the Self-Help Group (SHG), has embarked on a pioneering venture by establishing High-Tech Polyhouses for the cultivation of various varieties of flower saplings. This initiative not only showcases her entrepreneurial spirit but also underscores the potential for innovation and diversification within the agricultural sector.

High-Tech Polyhouses offer a controlled environment conducive to the growth of delicate flower saplings, ensuring optimal conditions for their development throughout the year. By investing in this technology, Asiya Jan, aims to cater to the increasing demand for high-quality flower saplings in the local market while also exploring opportunities for export.

The cultivation of diverse flower varieties within the Polyhouses not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the produce but also opens avenues for niche markets and premium pricing. Asiya Jan, initiative not only promises economic returns but also contributes to the beautification of the local landscape and promotes environmental sustainability.

Through her entrepreneurial endeavor, Asiya Jan exemplifies the transformative potential of JKRLM SHG members in Pulwama. By embracing innovation and modern technology, she not only creates a sustainable source of income for herself but also inspires fellow SHG members to explore new avenues for livelihood enhancement. Her success story serves as a beacon of hope and empowerment, illustrating the resilience and ingenuity of women in rural communities.

Ishrat Nazir's remarkable initiative has transformed Honipora village into an organic haven, setting a shining example of sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship. By eschewing synthetic chemicals and embracing organic farming practices, Ishrat Nazir has not only improved the quality of produce but also safeguarded the health of the soil and surrounding ecosystem.

Under Ishrat Nazir's leadership, Honipora village has undergone a paradigm shift towards holistic and environmentally friendly agricultural practices. By promoting crop rotation, composting, and natural pest management techniques, she has rejuvenated the fertility of the land and mitigated the adverse effects of conventional farming on biodiversity and water resources.

The transition to an organic village has not only enhanced the livelihoods of farmers in Honipora but has also attracted attention from consumers who prioritize health and sustainability. The organic certification of produce from Honipora village has opened doors to premium markets and increased income opportunities for farmers, thereby fostering economic resilience and social well-being.

Furthermore, Ishrat Nazir's initiative has fostered a sense of community pride and environmental consciousness among the residents of Honipora, Pulwama. Through awareness campaigns and capacity-building initiatives, she has empowered fellow villagers to adopt sustainable practices and become stewards of their natural heritage.

Ishrat Nazir's dedication to transforming Honipora village into an organic paradise exemplifies the spirit of grassroots innovation and community-led development promoted by JKRLM SHGs in Pulwama. Her visionary leadership serves as a beacon of hope for rural communities striving for a healthier, more sustainable future.

Indeed, the JKNRLM has prioritized sustainability and environmentally friendly practices in its initiatives. Recognizing the importance of preserving natural resources and mitigating environmental degradation, NRLM integrates principles of sustainability across its various interventions.

JKRLM encourages the adoption of organic farming practices among rural communities. By promoting techniques such as composting, crop rotation, and natural pest management, & aims to reduce reliance on chemical inputs, improve soil health, and safeguard the environment also emphasizes the efficient use and conservation of water resources in agriculture and allied activities. Through the promotion of techniques like drip irrigation, rainwater harvesting, and watershed management, JKRLM strives to enhance water efficiency and resilience to droughts.

JKRLM supports the adoption of renewable energy technologies such as solar power for meeting energy needs in rural areas. By facilitating access to solar panels and promoting the use of clean energy alternatives, & contributes to reducing reliance on fossil fuels and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and encourages practices for waste management and recycling in rural communities. By promoting composting of organic waste and facilitating the establishment of community-based waste management systems, JKRLM addresses environmental pollution while generating additional income opportunities for households.

JKRLM promotes biodiversity conservation through the preservation of indigenous seeds, promotion of agroforestry practices, and protection of natural habitats. By recognizing the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem resilience and food security, JKRLM contributes to maintaining ecological balance in rural areas. By enhancing knowledge and promoting behavioral change, JKRLM empowers rural communities to adopt environmentally friendly practices and become stewards of their natural resources.

Overall, JKRLM's commitment to sustainability and environmentally friendly practices underscores its holistic approach towards rural development, ensuring that economic empowerment is pursued in harmony with environmental conservation and social equity.

Arsheed Ahmad Bhat, District Programme Manager JK Rural Livelihoods Mission Pulwama.

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