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  Archives » Prime Minister's Fund » The Progress achieved
Assistance for Rehabilitation of Rural Artisan/Agriculturists in
the Earthquake Affected Areas of Gujara
 
Progress Report April to July 2001
 
 
   
 
  Craft as means of livelihood security programme
  Salt Farming
   
 

There are more than 30,000 salt farmers and workers in the affected districts of Kutch, Surendranagar and Patan. Out of which SEWA has organized around 10,000 salt workers and farmers in Surendranagar and Patan districts. The salt farming season was on when the earthquake struck. As a result, due to the earthquake the salt pans and the salt encrustation was damaged. Also the brine wells and pumps were damaged.

The salt workers needed emergency support, to rebuild the pans and wells, in order to retrieve the pans and encrustation process. This would enable them to have atleast some production and harvest at the end of the season in May. Otherwise they lose the entire season, labour and harvest.

SEWA, therefore with the initial support from the Disaster Mitigation Institute, provided with an emergency relief of Rs. 10,000/- each to about 20 salt farmers to rebuild the salt pans and reinitiate the encrustation process. Later on the salt farmers were given additional support of Rs. 30,000/- each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

   
 

The immediate livelihood support helped the salt farmers, reap a reasonably good salt harvest. A total of about 4000 tones of salt has been harvested by 15th May 2001.

With the help of SEWA’s marketing organisation, the SEWA Gram Mahila Haat, SEWA also provided market linkages, to the salt farmers to get the maximum sales return on the produce.

The SGMH, on its website publicized the struggle of salt farmers against the earthquake. The SGMH also provided the service of quality testing of salt with the help of Central Salt and Marine Research Institute (CSMRI). It also approached some of bulk industrial consumption units such as the Dairy Units and the Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited (GACL).

   
 

As a result of the concerted efforts the GACL, ordered about 20,000 tones of salt. Thereby, not only the entire production of the salt of this season, has been sold out. But it also provided a secured market to about 500 salt farmers for the next season also. Thus securing their work and livelihood.

Due to the earthquake, the brine and encrustation were disturbed, which affected the quality of salt. It had turned brownish in colour, with heavy concentration of Calcium and Magnesium. However, SGMH with the technical support from GACL and CSMRI facilitated the salt farmers in washing of salt, which improving the quality.

   
 

Thus a total of 3,500 tones of salt, worth Rs. 17 lakhs has been sold. This has resulted into net income of Rs. 2,000 per month to the salt farmers and their families.

The immediate economic rehabilitation supported 5 cooperatives salt workers families. SEWA now plans to support about 1000 salt workers during the next season, commencing from October 2001.

Thus along with emergency work and income support, the entire programme turned into a development opportunity for the salt farmers. They now have direct access to market and are relieved from the clutches of Private Traders.

  Restoration and Repair of Water Harvesting Structures
  Support to small and marginal farmers
   
   
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Self Employed Women's Association
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