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BRIEF August 5, 2019

India: Jharkhand Opportunities for Harnessing Rural Growth Project (JOHAR)

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Photo: World Bank


The World Bank recently conducted its Implementation Support Mission for the $100 million Jharkhand Opportunities for Harnessing Rural Growth Project (JOHAR). The Project supports the Government of India’s efforts to double farmer incomes by helping the state of Jharkhand diversify agriculture, and raise earnings from livestock, fisheries and non-timber forest produce (NTFP). To achieve these goals, the project is also increasing irrigation, improving farmers’ access to finance and markets, addressing gender gaps, and developing new skills to boost agricultural enterprise.


Project Approved:  26 May 2017; Closing: 30 June 2023
Commitment Amount: $ 100 million
Disbursed: 9%

Context:

With only 13.5 percent of the net sown area in Jharkhand being irrigated, some 60 percent of the state’s marginal and small farmers depend upon the rains, which are becoming increasingly erratic with climate change. The Government of Jharkhand requested the World Bank to support a transformative approach for enhancing farmer incomes while building their resilience to climate change.

The JOHAR Project will help the state develop climate-resilient agriculture by focusing on year-round cultivation of vegetables and diversifying into new high-yielding varieties of pulses and oilseeds. The Project will also demonstrate climate-resilient technologies for improving the productivity of paddy, promote community-based micro irrigation and support producer groups to move into value-added sectors like livestock, fisheries, and non-timber forest produce

Over 200,000 rural households and some 3,500 farmer producer groups are expected to benefit from the Project. Women are expected to be the principal actors in the production, processing and marketing of agricultural produce. JOHAR builds on the strong institutional platform of women’s self-help groups established in the state under the World Bank supported National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM).

Progress:

The World Bank mission noted satisfactory progress on the ground. Highlights:

  • The Project has covered all 17 targeted districts, reaching 50 of the 68 blocks identified. Some 90,000 households (out of a total of 200,000) have been mobilized into 2,000 (out of the 3,500 envisaged) Producer Groups (PG).
  • These 2,000 PGs have been trained and have opened bank accounts. Half of them have received start-up grant funds, as well grants for livelihood activities such as high value agriculture, fisheries, livestock and non-timber forest produce (NTFP).
  • Out of the 90,000 households mobilized, 60,000 are engaged in high value agriculture (primarily vegetables and fruits). This is the result of appropriate training as well as the adoption of a high-tech practices that include the use of high yielding varieties of seed and other inputs.
  • Fish farmers have begun ‘riverine fish farming’ and cage culture, while livestock producers have taken up back yard and ‘layered’ poultry remarkably well.
  • Out of the proposed 2,000 micro-irrigation schemes, 10 schemes have been completed and a further 500 Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) prepared. These schemes include gravity based, electricity based, solar lift irrigation, and drip irrigation systems, as well as pump-sets for wells and ponds.
  • 10 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) have been registered and their governance arrangements are in place.
  • In the 2018 kharif season, the project conducted trial marketing for 10,000 High Value Agriculture producers. In the 2019 kharif season, this is expected to go up five-fold to 50,000 producers.

Next Steps:

The mission agreed on the following key steps over the next six months:

  • Augment and strengthen the capacities of PGs to boost agricultural livelihoods, increase irrigation, and improve procurement and fund management functions. Streamline departmental procedures for regular approvals to irrigation DPRs. Complete 250 irrigation schemes by December 2019
  • Enhance production and marketing support to 50,000 producers through 10 Producer Companies. Incubate at least 100 entrepreneurs, create employment for 300 service providers, and launch a hub-based retail model for vegetables.
  • Increase convergence between programs of the Rural Development Department and JOHAR. Also increase collaboration with agriculture and other relevant departments.
  • Develop district level annual action plans for FY 19-20 using bottom-up planning processes.