An agriculture workshop sponsored by ECHO, EFICOR and World Relief Canada was held in Sahibganj, Jharkhand in eastern India during March 19-22, 2012. The event was attended by 26 persons representing five relief and development organizations from India’s east and northeastern regions.
In addition to technical presentations provided by local agricultural officials related to agroforestry, secondary agriculture and aquaculture, ECHO Asia Impact Center Director, Rick Burnette and ECHO Asia Research Consultant, Dr. Ricky Bates (professor of Horticulture at Penn State University), offered sessions related to moringa, green manure/cover crops, sustainable upland farming, the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) and urban/backyard agriculture. EFICOR staff and local community-based partners also shared case studies related to their agriculture livelihood work in the project’s Sahibganj focus area.
Besides an introduction to seed exchange in which crop seeds from northeast India and ECHO Asia were distributed, a following networking session enabled representatives from each organization to share experiences related to agriculture and community development. Each group gave examples of efforts that have succeeded or have proven difficult to carry out.
On the final day, participants traveled to ethnic Malto communities outside of Sahibganj to learn about EFICOR’s food security partnership with local families to promote small kitchen gardens, community forestry, conservation farming and improved livestock production. After returning to Sahibganj that evening, the workshop closed with the distribution of certificates and a brief worship service.
ECHO Asia would like to express its gratitude to EFICOR for hosting the workshop as well as to World Relief Canada and the Canadian Food Grains Bank for their support towards the event.