Most farmers have a small land holding so their propensity for risk taking is less and there is an increasing occurrence of wild animal attacks on crops. Due to the steep slopes, rainwater runoff is very high – creating erosion and limiting groundwater recharge – and the area for water storage in ponds is very limited.
We implement watershed projects to improve groundwater levels and reduce soil erosion. Ancient kuhls have been revived, along with bowris (water springs) which strengthen irrigation facilities – we have also increased storage capacity through check dams, water storage tanks and farm ponds. Micro irrigation is promoted to improve water use efficiency and percolation pits and ponds are constructed to support recharge. Additionally, we ensure the availability of drinking water through provision of taps in very household.
Water storage capacity
The agriculture pattern in the area has changed with ACF promoting replacement of traditional crops of maize, paddy and wheat with regular income cash crops like vegetables. Farmers are also cultivating pomegranates and apples. 5 Farmer Producer Organizations have been formed - ACF strengthens them for demand and supply side market linkages, and the set-up of Small Scale Industry. Animal husbandry is popular, and ACF promotes initiatives to increase milk production and collectively market it.
Farmers Growing Vegetables
Adopting Cow-Based Farming
Practicing Natural Farming
Increase in farmer income
Milk Production Doubled
Business turnover of FPOs.
Women’s Dairy Collective
It has been very challenging in this geography to organise women into a common platform, however with consistent efforts, Self-Help Groups have been formed to provide a source of micro credit for women and some groups have started income generation activities to strengthen their economic status also. An SROI impact study conducted in Darlaghat showed that the Women Empowerment Program yielded a Rs. 20 return for every Re. 1 invested.
SHG members with saving accounts
Women engaged in Income Generation
In Darlaghat, a cadre of Sakhis, promote institutional delivery, and tackle infant and maternal mortality rates, adolescent health and sanitation - with engagement of Swachhata Doots. Hyperglacemia and hypertension patients are also provided with screening, medication, referrals, counselling and follow-up. We identify presumptive TB cases, and promote wellness through the mental health program Aatmiyta. Additionally, we support AWCs for child growth and nutritional status among the children.
People experienced testing facilities
ACF provides training and employment to rural youth via 3 skill development institutes at Darlaghat, Nalagarh and Una. SEDI staff provide trainees with the necessary practical knowledge and skills to secure lucrative jobs in reputed companies. Placement support is also provided to accredited trainees trainees to ensure retention. Budding entrepreneurs are also supported in developing a business plan, and securing loan support from banks in order to open their own enterprises.
ACF promotes physical education, WASH and the development of good reading habits through libraries. To inculcate a team spirit and enhance sports skills, we organised school, village and cluster level sports events. To support reading promotion, ACF established a model library and library corners. WASH facilities have been provided along with regular testing of drinking water. Oral dental hygiene, health and hygiene has been promoted among students via local doctors, and capacity building has been provided for SMC members of 6 clusters.
School Toilets Renovated
Schools with Sports Promotion
children benefitting from WASH facilities
Mini Science Centre
In Darlaghat, livestock are a major source of income for families. A big challenge however, was access to timely, good quality veterinary care. ACF kickstarted Pashu Swasthya Sevika and trains local women to provide prompt cattle care on people's doorstep. Overtime, they became linchpins of the community. Healthier animals mean better milk production, resulting in significant improvement in quality of life. The cattle they treat are healthier, and milk production is abundant which led to PSS encouraging women to start their own dairy business - registering their own Farmer Producer Organization in 2016.
ACF is promoting FPOs to practice red rice cultivation -- known to have more nutrient value and potential for doubling incomes. The rice is then marketed by the Shivam Milk Cooperative Dairy Society. Black wheat cultivation is also encouraged as it has a higher nutrient value than yellow wheat and has few bioactive compounds. Additionally, radish seed production is also encouraged - with technical support and demonstrations, farmers have produced 296 quintals and are already marketing it through the Durga Seed Company.
The spread of HIV/AIDS is an issue affecting truckers, due to the high prevalence of drivers accessing Commercial Sex Workers, and limited condom use. ACF in collaboration with Apollo Tyres Foundation established a Health Care Centre to provide a range of services such as the prevention, identification, and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. The centre also works on vision care, TB awareness, diabetes and hypertension. Behaviour Change Communication is conducted via puppet shows and information stalls - teaching truckers better ways to protect and manage their health.
When ACF began work in Darlaghat, water was the most common challenge. Working in collaboration with NABARD and following a ridge to valley approach, watershed committees were formed - building farm bunds, ponds, storage tanks, check dams, trenches, percolation ponds, irrigation channels, water storage structures and gabion structures. This resulted in the rise in water table, increase in green cover and increase in fodder for dairy farming. ACF was awarded the best implementation agency by NABARD for watershed development in Darlaghat. The state government had also honoured ACF for its work which led to 11 watersheds in the state.Know More
Never in her wildest dreams did housewife Renu Thakur imagine where cows would take her in life! From Nauni village in Darlaghat all the way to the offices of the Ministry of Finance, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry in the Himachal Pradesh State Government, Renu has been on a wild ride. Renu was one of the 32 founding members of the women only Amrit Dhara Dairy Milk Cooperative, which has grown from strength to strength. So successful have they been, that they were invited to play an advisory role to the State Government in planning dairy activities for the state.Know More
Farms in the hilly states are largely reliant on rain which has become erratic, so the people who live there often depend on natural water springs for drinking water supply, household activities and irrigation. But in recent times, most of the springs have either become seasonal or extinct, due to ecological imbalances. Working together in groups, with support from ACF, farmers are revitalising springs, and renovating ancient kuhls to channel water directly to their fields. The results have been transformative - farmers are moving beyond subsistence farming and into commercial production of vegetables and fruits.Know More