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Ecotechnology

The JRD Tata Ecotechnology Centre was established in 1996, with support from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Mumbai and is dedicated to the memory of the renowned industrialist, the late JRD Tata. Persistent poverty and declining agricultural productivity among small holding farmers along with depletion of natural resources were the main concerns with which Ecotechnology programme was evolved. The centre has adopted Ecology, Economics, Equity (gender and social), Employment and Energy as guiding principles in technology development, incubation and dissemination and function with the following overall vision, mission and goal:

Vision: The Founding Vision of the centre was to “assist farm women and men of the rural India to enhance agricultural productivity in perpetuity with no ecological harm”.

The overall mission is to is to generate and extend new knowledge, practices of technologies which help in operationalizing the concept of sustainable development that benefits the poor.

The specific goal of the centre is to promote Eco-technologies for Sustainable Livelihoods of rural women and men.

The strategic objectives are

·      Promoting ecotechnologies for sustainable and resilient agriculture production systems and management of natural resources

·      Supporting and nurturing institutional innovations to improve small-holder competitiveness and natural resource management

Approach and Strategy

Participatory research and development, capacity building, blending traditional knowledge with frontier science and promoting grassroots institutions are the important strategies in technology development, adoption and innovation chain. In this process, technology, empowerment and institutionalization are the three important dimensions. The whole process starts with social mobilization and organization of men and women farmers into groups to evaluate the technologies for its economic feasibility, ecological viability and social acceptance. In the course of actions, members of the communities gradually gain the cognitive and practical skills to act on their own as well as collective levels in achieving sustainable livelihoods. The whole efforts are institutionalised in the form of grassroots institutions for its sustainability at the local level.

Target groups: The target groups are small holders with priority to women farmers and the project interventions are following gender responsive framework in planning, implementation and monitoring phases. At the macro level, the programme goals are aimed at contributing to the global commitments like SDGs and Climate Agreement Obligations emphasis has been to networking with appropriate state government machinery and departments in achieving the programme goal.

Focussed themes are

a)    Agriculture development: Addressing factors of production to enhance productivity such as biofertilizers, bio-pesticides, seeds, labour etc and evolve models of ecological enterprises such as integrated farming systems, pulses villages, seed villages etc

b)    Conservation and management of natural resources viz., water and soil and

c)    Institutional innovations to bring small holder competitiveness