The western region of West Bengal is a part of the Chhotonagpur Plateau. The region is characterized by highly variable rainfall, the low moisture-holding capacity of soils, and high run-off due to the undulating terrain.
As a result, agriculture in this region is fraught with high risks and is primarily subsistence-based. Even in years with adequate monsoons, farmers often experience crop failure due to sudden dry spells at critical junctures. Growing a second crop was a challenging possibility for farmers in the region.
HUF’s engagement with PRADAN aims to enhance food security by increasing water use efficiency, improving productivity and introducing additional crops that utilize residual soil moisture after the Kharif season.
The project focuses on capacity building of women, collectivising them into Self–Help Groups (SHGs), federating them at ward and Gram Panchayat level. They will be trained on principles of water policy, preparation of village development plans, engagement with panchayats and government officials and mobilising resources from MGNRRGS and other government programmes.
The programme covers 365 villages in 8 blocks across 4 districts. An estimated 33,000 women farmer households have benefitted from this program.