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Our Vision

“Holistic, integrated & sustainable development of the hill people based on their cultural values, traditions and resources.”

Our Mission

“Empowering people to take their development decisions themselves & build a stable society that is free of social, economic & gender inequity.”

Our Goal

"Provide sustainable food security, socio-economic security and promotion of livelihoods to the rural poor households."

 

Analysis of Model Value Chain in Vegetable Sectors in Uttarakhand

Case Study: Value chains developed by Himalayan Action Research Centre (HARC), Uttarakhand, India

Introduction

Regional Economic Development Program (RED) is being implemented in the State of Uttarakhand, India under the framework of Indo-German economic cooperation. In its efforts to improve upon several interrelated issues that tend to influence the pace of regional development in Uttarakhand, the RED programme intends to lay special focus on improving upon the “Business Investment Climate”. Apart from the mainstream value chains (which are often disadvantageous to poor because of their relative low bargaining power), there have been multiple initiatives to structure the VC s with focus on benefiting the poor. Some of these models have evolved over a long period with great deal of effort by various NGOs. The successful models have attained prominence and at times good out reach. A greater understanding of some successful examples of such VC structure is expected to be useful for GTZ _RED’s intervention strategy in the region.

HARC is one of those NGOs which has demonstrated over the years a success story of establishing a functional value chain which has a pro poor bias of strengthening the farmers share/ bargaining power in the over all profit pie. It has a long history of evolution in the initiatives in livelihood sector. It is obvious that over the period it has relied on developing the system through various projects/ funds made available through various agencies, but in the end it has resulted in a sustainable ( till date functional with considerable efficiency) model. It can also be said that pragmatic leadership of the NGO envisages considerable scope of further improvement in the system and is willing to invest in resources to R & D to optimize efficiency of its VCs. This it self is a strong indicator of entrepreneurial approach of the venture.

Since the HARC approach is well appreciated by the local Government and NABARD, We considered it practical to analyze their functioning as a case study. Operationally they have presence in both horticulture and MAP sectors. They have further diversified into processing in both. This study tries to develop a better understanding of the factors of their success, including the challenges at various levels of value additions in the VCs.

Scope/ objective of study

The Study was conducted with the objective of understanding & documenting the operations of HARC model of Value chain with focus on the organizational structures at various levels of operations in the VC and also the roadblocks/ problems faced in the process of evolution to current model VC. It also attempts to document the specific interventions of HARC in impacting the BIC and assess further growth potential and proposed strategy for it.

Methodology

Participative interaction methodology was followed. Interactions with individuals as well as groups involved at various levels of operations in the VC, was held and documented. Operations of the VC from production to market end (till the involvement of HARC) was observed and recorded during the interactions. Broad explorations to understand the demand pattern was done primarily through the interactions with the customers/ intermediaries linked with HARC. The paper does not intend to present numerical data (which is any way available in annual reports of HARC), but tries to understand and highlight the conceptual framework of HARCs interventions in the domain of Agri sector value chains.

Geographical and Social Context:

Uttarakhand came into existence in 2000. Ten out of Uttarakhand’s 13 districts lie in the Greater and Lesser Himalayas, including Uttarkashi & Chamoli districts where HARC operates. 92% of Uttarakhand’s geographical area is hilly, with steep slopes and fragile soils. 75% of the population live in rural areas. The hilly regions have a larger share of population that is Below the Poverty Line, i.e. 38.5% vs. 26% in the plains. Further, 83% of total Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 93% of total Scheduled Tribes (STs) in the state are from rural area.

Though agriculture is the main livelihood of over 70% of Uttarakhand’s population, only 12% of its land is cultivable both as terraces on hill slopes and tiny farm plots.[1] Low-value subsistence farming based on cereal crops, dairy cattle and exploitation of forest resources is dominant in the hilly regions. Agricultural productivity in the hills is 12 to 14 quintals/hectare compared with 32 to 35 quintals/hectare in the plains. Rice and finger millets in the Kharif season and wheat and barley in the Rabi season are the main cereal crops whereas green gram, horse gram, kidney beans, lentils and pea are the main pulse crops of the state. Farmers in the hills must contend with small and fragmented land holdings, rain-fed farming (only 12% of the area in the hills is irrigated), inadequate or no marketing infrastructure, poor access to finance, strong control of middlemen, and market yards at a significant distance from farms. As a result of these constraints, over 24% of people living in the hill regions have to migrate to the plains to supplement their incomes.

The NGO: Himalayan Action Research Centre

Himalayan Action Research Centre (HARC) was established in 1988 as an NGO. It has been working with the hill communities of the Garhwal [2] region in the Himalayan foothills. HARC positions itself as a facilitator of sustainable development in the region; with focus on empowering rural poor through various related activities leading to change in the socio economic conditions of the communities.

HARC also has a special focus on empowering women and other marginalized sections of the rural society, who while contributing significantly to socio–economic and cultural developments often get excluded from benefit sharing of mainstream systems

Vision and Mission

HARC’s stated vision[3] is the holistic, integrated and sustainable development of mountain people based on their cultural values, traditions and resources. It also encompasses empowering people in ways such that they can take development decisions themselves and build a stable society that is free of social, economic and gender inequity.


[1] L.Raman, R. Singh, N. Anand, Greening the Rawain Valley – Impact of HARC’s work in strengthening livelihoods in Rawain (Upper Yamuna) Valley, Uttaranchal, September 2005.

[2] Uttarakhand is divided into two regions – Garhwal in the west and Kumaun in the east

[3] HARC Status Report (2003-2005) and Training Brochure


[1] L.Raman, R. Singh, N. Anand, Greening the Rawain Valley – Impact of HARC’s work in strengthening livelihoods in Rawain (Upper Yamuna) Valley, Uttaranchal, September 2005.

[2] Uttarakhand is divided into two regions – Garhwal in the west and Kumaun in the east

[3] HARC Status Report (2003-2005) and Training Brochure

Detailed report

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