Training Programs: Building The Capacity of Communities
Agriculture has been the traditional livelihood option in the Uttarakhand region across generations. The farming families here have generational wisdom about organic cultivation.
Hemp is also a natural crop of the area. The local farming families had cultivated hemp before the criminalization of the crop. Organic techniques of hemp farming are, thus, part of their rich traditional repertoire.
Capacity Gaps That Need To Be Addressed
We at Hemp Foundation have the deepest respect for the insights of the local farming families. However, we also realize the need to enhance their traditional wisdom with modern technical know-how about commercial hemp production.
This is particularly important in the cluster development initiatives. That is the approach with which we run our program of the economic regeneration of the Uttarakhand region.
Cluster development involves a shift from individual farming in small to marginal landholdings to a more collectivized and commercialized production process. There is a need for capacity enhancement for that transformation to be effective.
We organize training for farmers to address these capacity enhancement needs.
Capacity Building Objectives
We base our training programs on the studied capacity gaps of the local farmers. The aim is to add to their existing wisdom without demeaning their traditional insights about organic farming in the Uttarakhand region.
Accordingly, our capacity building initiatives have five core objectives:
- Awareness building on the advantages of collectivized work in the cluster development model over individual farming of small and marginal landholdings.
- Training on modern techniques of commercial hemp production that blend with traditional techniques of organic farming and enhances production efficiency.
- Training on the functioning of the modern globalized market and how to link their products with the global demand for hemp and its products.
- Training on the multifarious uses of hemp, the production processes of different hemp-based items, and the advantages of these agro-industries for the rural economy.
- Training on legal compliance needs and how to fulfill them.
How Training Is Helping Local Farmers
The kinds of training we provide through our capacity building initiative benefit the farming families of Uttarakhand in multiple ways.
- Seasonal migration in search of employment was the rule for most men from rural Uttarakhand. Those capable of participating in the income-earning process, that is. Before we started our intervention.
As a result, their traditional wisdom of organic farming had started to become rusty, especially among the younger men. Through our training initiatives, we are fostering cross-learning between older and younger generations.
That, in turn, is causing regeneration of the rich traditional wisdom of organic farming.
- We are integrating training in modern agricultural techniques with the existing wisdom of the local farmers. This is helping them to shift to commercial hemp production in a collectivized manner, instead of individualized farming in their small plots of land.
- Local farmers are also learning about the modern marketing needs and techniques. They are also gaining insights into the possibilities of selling their crop and hemp-based products to the global market.
- Local farmers are becoming skilled in ensuring compliance with statutory regulations.