Agriculture is the base of the region’s economy. More than 74% of the total work force is involved in agriculture. All agriculture activities except ploughing are done by women. Land holdings are very small (less than one acre on average) and highly fragmented. At present stage, in majority villages agriculture is not providing food for more than four five months in the upland mountain areas and eight to ten months in the valley areas where some irrigation is possible.
The effect of climate change is conspicuous and people are facing huge difficulties. Distress migration is at rise. Villages are getting evacuated at a faster pace than ever. Uttarakhand being one of the agriculture states of India, this poses huge threat to the food security of the country.
Changes in the global environment can be found through the evidences of wild animals which were not found earlier. The destruction of crops by wild animals is so high. People are completely dependent on Agriculture, and therefore, there is a loss of livelihood of the people with the degrading support for farmers in the state.
INHERE has been working with more than 3000 farmers in the districts of Almora, Chamoli, Champawat. Engaging youth in sustainable agriculture has been one strategy to stop the migration to cities in search of livelihood. Various agriculture tools, awareness and training programs are conducted for farmers at INHERE. Also, farmers are helped with organic certification of their crops and INHERE supports with the market linkage of the produce. Continuous engagement with the farmers for more than three decades now, have held INHERE one among the farmers. Market research for demand and place oriented crops are done and farmers are made aware of the same. A two way communication medium with the farmers is established where the farmers query about seeds availability, crop management, innovative irrigation systems, solar dryers, diseases resistant crop varieties etc are addressed.