Campaign in Rawal Gaon

Date: 25th January 2020

A meeting was held today, on 25th January’ 2020, between the funded project of JICA – Japan International Cooperation Agency and Hemp Foundation. The primary objective of the meeting was to work towards the self-sufficiency of the group members and villagers involved in the project in Delhi, Rawal gaon, and Pithoragarh.

During the meeting, Mr. Vishal Vivek of the Hemp Foundation and Mr. Manoj Joshi of JICA stressed the importance of industrial hemp in order to increase the livelihood of the group members/villagers.

He informed that the Hemp Foundation is working to increase the livelihood of the villagers by promoting industrial hemp cultivation in Uttarakhand and also by empowering women by training them at the grassroots level. This self-sustenance will also help prevent migration.

He also raised his concerns regarding the damage caused by the presence of wild animals to farming. These losses are resulting in a decrease in farming by villagers.

He also related legal industrial hemp cultivation with the Honorable Prime Minister’s goal of doubling farmer’s revenue by the year 2020 as well as linking agriculture to increase the daily income of the farmers. Hemp Foundation will provide the necessary support to the farmers, including providing requisite permissions and licenses, imparting vocational training, and selling the entire produce to different markets.

The villagers also expressed their happiness over the promotion of legal industrial hemp cultivation. They also expressed their willingness to work with the Hemp Foundation and the JICA project to procure necessary licenses so as to boost legal industrial hemp cultivation through a pilot project in the upcoming season.

Home to about 400 people, Uttarakhand’s Rawal village is grappling with the same problems as any other village in the state – mass migration of males to nearby towns, unsustainability in agriculture, and absolute lack of opportunities for young adults and women.

Hemp Foundation aims to bring all these villages out of their misery. As a part of the first phase of our campaign to identify villages in Uttarakhand where we can contribute, we organized an educational event where we invited at least one woman from every household, along with key people’s representatives from the village.

Vishal Vivek, co-founder of Hemp Foundation, explained how industrial hemp farming was a sustainable alternative to risky crops traditionally grown in the village’s fields. Vishal addressed questions from many attendees, pertaining to:

How the village farmers could earn better from industrial hemp farming?
What educational and economic support they could get from Hemp Foundation?
How would a contractual farming agreement with Hemp Foundation work out for them?

Hemp Foundation plans to follow this up with more sessions, before identifying partner farmers from the village and then helping them grow industrial hemp in their fields.

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