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  project name ~ LEISA 2010-2011

category ~ Rural Development and Environment




  Project Name


LEISA 2010-2011



AID Bangalore



Rural Development and Environment



Raichur, Magadi and Kolar




  Budget Approved


Rs 319000


  Year Approved







  Chapter Coordinators


Shruthi Vembar
Arun SP
Amitabh Bhattacharya










LEISA or Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture is an initiative started by AID Saathi Prasanna Saligram along with AID Bangalore in certain regions of Karnataka. The project involves training landless laborers, primarily women, in methods of natural organic farming. The laborers then enter into agreements with landowners, in which the landowners pay for their on-farm activities. To encourage the landowners/farmers to switch to sustainable agriculture, AID pays the laborers for the additional hours they work for preparation of organic manure/pesticides at NREGA rates. Eventually these labor charges are expected to come through NREGA funds, wherever properly implemented. AID also funds the salaries of local and overall coordinators, who campaign for NREGA implementation and also oversee the day-to-day activities of the laborers.

This is the fourth year of AID-Pittsburgh funding the LEISA project. There are four previous entries for this project from AID-Pittsburgh: the first entry funded the salary of the overall coordinator, the second entry funded the first year of labor charges and the third entry funded the second year of labor charges for 11 laborers and the salary for 1 overall and 2 local coordinators and the fourth entry funded. This year the salaries of one overall and two local coordinators, and the labor support for 14 laborers in two villages in the Chintamani thaluka of Kolar district, Karnataka.
This year (2010-2011) we fund the salaries of the coordinators ( overall and local) , labor, training, crop management and misc.





There are several achievements of this project: 1) Nearly 21 farmers have expressed interest in Motaganahalli, one of the places where the intervention is going on. The MGHalli panchayat has agreed to approve NREGA for farm activities. 2) In Katanpalya village, the farmer Chandru has gone fully organic and is a success story of the LEISA project. His efforts have been featured in local newspapers as well as in the Bangalore mirror (clippings available in the LEISA part 2 project). 3) In Chintamani Dhanumattinapalli village, all the yield from the LEISA initiative has been bought up locally itself at competitive prices. Also a local bank has approved a large loan of 5 lakhs to the laborers in order for them to do organic farming. The LEISA group is trying to work out a plan of how to utilize these funds in the best possible manner. 4) The LEISA coordinators are also involved with local groups and campaigns to promote the proper implementation of NREGA. The Kottanapalli Gram Panchayat has approved the utilization of NREGA funds to support agriculture labor support. Therefore, in the next three months, job cards will be issued to the laborers involved in LEISA.





The main objective is to mainstream organic farming and to help farmers make the transition from conventional to organic farming. At the same time, the project also intends to provide training to landless laborers (through NREGA, where possible). In the next year, the intervention will, hopefully, be expanded to the Raichur and Dharwad districts of Karnataka.



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