TARAgram Pahuj, is another Sustainability Resource Centre for Innovation, Action, Training and Outreach of Development Alternatives and is located in Village Ambabai, in Uttar Pradesh.
Spread over 7.5 acres of land, this centre provides alternatives and solutions to the local agricultural and social empowerment problems, in partnership with the local communities.
The objective of the centre is to generate awareness, leading to capacity building within the local communities, by demonstrating models of improved farming practices, water conservation and harvesting and land use planning. The centre aims at strengthening the livelihoods of the rural people, who belong to a predominantly agrarian economy. The guiding premise for these interventions is a participatory, gender-just and ecosystem- based approach.
The Core Principles of the Centre are:
- The People come first
- Participatory Approach
- Efficient Development Services
Our efforts at the Pahuj campus include:
Land reclamation and development especially using green manuring – organic manure and soil and moisture management:
- Land use and field Bunding: Bunds are made on sloping and undulating terrains. Bunding reduces soil erosion by intercepting water run-off and conserves soil moisture.
- Fertility Enhancement through Green Manuring: Dhaincha (Sesbania Bispinosa), a fast growing, drought-resistant leguminous shrub, capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen is used for increasing soil fertility. All the agricultural waste generated in the campus is used for making compost.
Water-Management and Conservation
- Micro irrigation system: The use of sprinkler and drip irrigation systems have been piloted in the campus for water efficiency in different cropping systems suited for the region.
- Farm pond: A farm pond has been constructed in the low-lying area in the campus, strategically positioned to receive run-off water from the surrounding catchment areas for recharging and enhancing soil moisture.
- Green power for irrigation: The solar pump installed at the centre demonstrates and creates awareness on the use of renewable energy for irrigation purposes.
- Water harvesting: A rooftop rainwater harvesting system supports the critical requirement for water during the lean period
- Water Quality: The Jal-TARA water filter installed for generating awareness on aspects of water quality and methods of purification.
The Jal-TARA water treatment system is a revolutionary approach developed by DA that employs the technique of slow sand filtration. It ensures a simultaneous bacteriological, chemical and physical improvement in the water quality comparable to the natural percolation of water through underground strata. Jal-TARA filter is standardised in 1000-litre water tanks with the output water supply of 2500-3000 litres per day. The filter contains specialised media of different sizes. The system is provided with a synthetic fabric filter designed with an advanced technique of fabric protection. It can be fed under gravity flow or through conventional pumps or operated by solar photo-voltaic cells. It is a replication of natural water seepage as in ground aquifers.
- Use of improved varieties: Demonstration of drought-resistant varieties of different cropping sytems is through cultivation to share the know-how of the package and practices to the farmers.
- Agriculture and Horticulture practices: Models of different practices demonstrated to the farmers for adoption as a tool for creating awareness and transferring of technologies.
Demonstration of Green Practices:
- Development solutions for the communities, using a participatory approach
- Giving skills-training and extended capacity-building support to community groups and other stakeholders
- Demonstration of different agricultural practices
- Promoting advocacy and influence for policy change
- Demo Fields Multi Cropping –
- Green Shed Nursery
- Networking and convergence with governmental organisations and NGOs
- Dug Wells
- Solar Panel
- Low Tunnel Seedling Preparation
- Green Manuring
- Training in agri practices
- Project planning and execution
- Development solutions for stakeholders (on subjects as the production of energy, sustaining of water suplies or solutions regarding habitat or agriculture)
- Field trials of products and services under a participatory approach
- NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development)
- ICRISAT (International Crop Research Center on Semi Arid Tropics), Hyderabad
- The Uttar Pradesh Government
- Swiss Development Corporation (SDC)
- Department of Science and Technology, (GoI) New Delhi
- Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), New Delhi
- Indian Grassland and Fodder Reseach Institute (IGFRI)