The North East Initiative Development Agency (NEIDA), promoted by the Tata Trusts is a not for profit organization and was established in 2012. NEIDA works in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland in the field of rural development and has reached out to 30,000 households in 16 districts and 690 villages. NEIDA has offices in all three states and has a team comprising of more than 90 professionals. The Tata Trust supports a bulk of NEIDA activities. NEIDA also receives support from NABARD and collaborates with various government line departments of all three states.
NEIDA’s areas of work
- Improving farmers’ income from agriculture. Key strategy includes setting up of demonstration plots, recommended package of practices, integrated pest and disease management, encourage cultivation of vegetables as cash crops, trainings and capacity building and water resource management.
- Addressing gaps in the piggery value chain for promoting piggery enterprise for small holder pig farmers. NEIDA promotes household piggery enterprise with an attempt to: (a) bridge the gap between demand and supply of fattened pigs for slaughter; (b) make available quality weaned piglets to rural farmers for fattening; and (c) improve the socio-economic status of rural families through piggery.
- Building and strengthening community owned, managed and controlled community based institutions at various levels is an integral part of our project interventions.
- Providing opportunities for talented children through structured football and badminton training thereby providing them opportunities to hone their skills to compete at national and international leagues.
Getting more with less
Farmers in Nagaland adopting System of Rice Intensification (SRI) to ensure food security and more
By adopting the of System of Rice Intensification (SRI)for cultivating rice, Yanger Chang from Longra village, Tuensang district has been contributing his part in ensuring food security for his family. With limited land under terrace rice cultivation because of the steep topography, increasing the productivity of rice per unit area is the only viable solution.
NEIDAs field partner the Eleutheros Christian Society and KVK, Tuensangintroduced SRI as an innovation at an opportune time while reconsidering the strategic directions for agriculture, basically a method of increasing the yield of rice. It has offered a radical departure from conventional rice cultivation techniques, in the way of growing more rice with fewer inputs. Yanger recalls that at first, he was hesitant to adopt SRI. It was only when he witnessed increase in yield through the use of the new technology of his fellow farmers, he gained confidence and started to practice the method of SRI cultivation.
With only 10 farmers volunteering from Longra village in the first year, every farmer in the village now practices SRI technology since 2014. He now claims to have produced higher production of rice beating previous record with the simple changes in farming practice as compared to traditional methods. The yield in his 1 acre of land has gone up from 800 Kgs a year to roughly 1400 Kgs.
From his 3 years of experience, he says that “there is no loss in adopting SRI”.SRI is the best method for getting higher yield with low production costs and use of less wateras compared to the conventional method of cultivation.
“Earlier rice production was hardly sufficient to sustain for the whole year, but now there is no tension. With the use of SRI technology, being self-sufficient in rice production is not an impossible dream” says Mr Yanger
Shuttling up to speed
A badminton coaching programme in Mizoram is taking grassroots approach to tap and nurture immense talent from north east region
“I find badminton easy to play — the backhand is my favourite shot — and I want to get better at it,” says RuthiLalhmangaihi, a nine-year-old from Aizawl’s Saron Badminton Club, one of 25 centres where a grassroots initiative implemented by NEIDA is working to tap and nurture talent in a sport that ranks among the most popular in Mizoram.
There are 815 children from the 7-13 age bracket in the badminton programme, which is spread over all eight districts of the state. It is a collaborative effort that also includes the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Foundation (PGBF), the Mizoram Badminton Association (MBA) and the Mizoram State Sports Council (MSSP).
The programme, which beganin May 2018 is filled to the brim with young players and is the first phase of what will eventually develop into a three-tier pyramid structure. In the next stage, regional development centres will be established where the best of the lot will be absorbed. And at the top will be a state-of-the-art high altitude training centre.
Through this initiative, infrastructure and trainings are provided for further development of talents and would be a finishing school for national and international sports people from the region.
The badminton coaching initiative has a three-tiered pyramid structure
815 children in the 7-13 age group 27 coachesat 25 centres in 8 districtsfor a span of 3 years
Regional development centres
6 to be set up in 2019
High-altitude training centre
- A residential facility that will be established in Sihphir district by 2021, primarily for badminton but also for other sports
- Will be a world-class sports academy, with a sports laboratory, a library, a swimming pool and a football ground
Raising Pigs, Rising Income
Kekhenyi-u, 37 years old from Chizami village in Phek district in Nagaland has been involved in piggery activity for the last one decade. With no proper education to find a regular job, backyard pig farming was the source of income that her family was dependent on to meet their household expenses. However, like many other uninformed farmers, the method of pig rearing was traditional which did not give her much income.
Through NEIDAs and its field partner the Chakhesang Women Welfare Society (CWWS) intervention she was trained on the importance of balance diet, hygiene, proper housing care and management of pig rearing. She adds that she also learned the overall cost of pig rearing. After a duration of 10 months she culled her first fattened pig live weighing 140 Kgs as compared to 80 Kgs before the intervention and earned an income of Rs 30,800l. There has been an increase of 60 Kgs as compared to local black pig.
She says, “I am aware that the difference in the growth rate depends on the different factors such as hygiene, care and management, housing etc., but one major factor that boost the growth is the feed management”. She adds that disease prevention practices and measures such as de-worming, vaccination, feeding fresh water and giving bath to pigs are new practices she has learned.
She plans to expand her backyard piggery as she sees growing demand of pork in the state which would translate to economic return for her family.
Life Line: An Inspiration for Thousands
The Life line Self Help Group, comprising of 10 members of unemployed rural women from Yazali, a village in Arunachal Pradesh was promoted by NEIDA. NEIDA had initially done handholding to inculcate the habit of savings and record keeping and once they were ready to take up income generating activities,NEIDA provided financial assistance to the members to start pig rearing in 50:50 basis.Although all the group members were rearing pigs it was not bringing them enough returns due to various factors like poor managements, poor quality piglets and inadequate knowledge about scientific pig rearing. For their income generation Life Line SHG started a mini pig rearing farm with 6 sows, 1 boar and 13 male piglets. Technical guidance was given by NEIDA on managements of pigs. After 6-9 months of rearing pigs, a total 39 piglets were produced by 6 sows and hence, starting from the first batch, Life Line SHG has been earning an income of over Rs 1 lakh per batch.
“A pig needs no special food or care, but gives a very good price. “Bakra se zyada paisa miltahai” (One earns more than a goat), smiled and opined by Pill Yal, President of Life Line SHG.
The piggery enterprise has changed the socio economic status of those women in a short period of two years. They are supplying good quality piglets to other SHG members. Apart from selling live piglets, they also supply pork for various social functions in the district. Till now, they have earned over Rs 5 lakhs profit through their enterprise.