Caritas India has started the Agrarian Prosperity Program (APP) in several northern Indian villages to provide the villagers with alternative sources of income and to check economic migration.
Caritas introduced farmers to new techniques such as organic farming, a system to preserve indigenous seeds besides intensifying activities to save water such as renovation and construction of check dams, ponds, tanks and wells.
They formed self-help groups and farmer clubs to empower women and build the capacity of farmers to create better livelihood opportunities. It also encouraged them toward animal husbandry and cultivating kitchen gardens to create food security and increase income.
Mass migration from India's villages to major cities has challenged church workers to help people find farming methods to end their hunger and earn a better living.
Frederick D'Souza, executive director of Caritas India said that the objective of Caritas India is always reaching the unreached with development initiatives.
He told ucanews.com that villages lacked gainful engagement but now people are engaged and cultivate multiple crops year-round along with having additional income.
With these efforts the migration in some villages has stopped completely and in some other has reduced considerably.
The APP is active in 10 tribal villages of Gumla district in Jharkhand, a state considered to produce the majority of India's village migrants.(UCAN)