The Supi Sugandh story
Our journey began in 2003 when we established TRISHA (TERI’s research initiative at Supi for Himalayan Advancement) in Supi village, near Mukteshwar in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand with the kind support of the Government of Uttarakhand. Situated at a height of 7100 feet above sea level, TRISHA is an endeavor to create a platform in the high terrains of India that can be used as means for capacity building, education, sharing local knowledge, improving economies, and incorporating best practices for sustainable development.
The farmers, being marginal, are too dependent on rainfall to make their ends meet. Also, their crop basket had a limited range. With a sense of social responsibility for improving the economic conditions, it was decided to add diversity to their crops so that they can get better returns from their meagre land and water resources. Taking support from various government and international agencies we started helping the farmers, especially women, to grow culinary herbs, spices, aromatic plants. In addition, promotion of certain traditional crops forgotten by the local population due to low yields and revenue was also undertaken by creating awareness about their nutritional attributes and developing value added products from them. Fruit processing was also planned to increase returns from the fruit orchards of these farmers. This entire exercise was supported by utilising organic compost to enhance crop productivity as well as soil health. Water management and storage solutions were also provided to the farmers to increase their water use efficiency. In all these aspects, capacities and skills of farmers were enhanced by organizing training programmes and interactions involving experts. All these efforts gradually started bearing fruit and the farmers began to reap benefits such as
- Increased incomes distributed round the year
- Reducing damage by wild animals such as wild boars, etc
- Enhancing skill sets and promoting micro entrepreneurship
- Minimising dependence on rainfall and changing weather patterns
- Creating market access at their doorstep