NIRMAN works with marginalized agrarian, Tribal/indigenous and forest dwelling communities with special emphasis on women and youth for addressing their food and livelihood insecurity through community based interventions. It facilitates community initiatives through promotion, consolidation and networking of community based institutions for assertion of their customary rights over traditionally used natural resources apart from facilitating their participation in the structure of local natural resources governance systems. The communities for whom we work are critically dependent on agriculture and forests for livelihood sustenance and face the growing threat of losing their food security and food sovereignty due to fast depleting natural resources base. The other most important issue confronting these vulnerable groups is lack of secure tenure over customarily used land, water and forest resources thus resulting in very poor access and control over these resources. Keeping in view the importance of natural resources for supporting livelihoods, we focus on strengthening community based institutions for their inclusion in local governance and decision making process through right based approach. Besides facilitating institutions and capacity building of community based initiatives for policy advocacy, we also focus on sustainable management and conservation of natural resources through bio-diverse farming, community forestry, community-led ecosystem management of fresh water lagoons etc. The major emphasis of the organization has been on integrated management of eco-systems through community based approach that supports local livelihoods while sustaining bio-diversity.

We believe that ‘local people’ are the core to any development process and in order to achieve this, the first step is to value relationships that are built on notions of equity and justice. NIRMAN stands to support abilities of the local community to preserve biodiversity and manage natural resources like forest, water and land sustainably for adapting to impact of climate change.

The growing concern for supporting an agro-ecosystem that value the traditional wisdom of conservation and management and create toxic free food laid the foundation of NIRMAN in 1997. NIRMAN facilitates participatory approach that promotes local innovations and leadership building process from among the local community.

Eastern India Convention on Millets

The two-day convention of millet farmers form the eastern Indian states of Odisha, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand, organized at Ramiah Hall, Orissa University of Agriculture  and Technology, discussed on millets in food and farming. There was a general agreement that millets needed a greater push through the initiatives of both state and non-state actors; so that the households that sustain on these food crops can be secured and strengthened.
  The convention came up with a Declaration which demands that the government include millets in the public distribution system; and in all the public food systems like mid-day meal scheme, ICDS and so on. Further, the Declaration states the need for localized procurement and distribution of food grains. The Declaration further emphasizes the importance of biodiversity in agriculture; and urges government to give due recognition to the farmers who are practicing such agriculture; as this is vital for the lives and livelihoods of scores of Dalit and Aadivasi communities.
Easter India Millets Convention   Bhubaneswar Declaration
Bio-diversity Festival in Kandhamal, Odisha: Kutia Kondh celebrating the revival of extinct Millets & Traditional Farming, 24- 25 Feb, 2013
A Bio-diversity Festival was organised by NIRMAN in collaboration with Millets Networks of India (MINI) at Dupi Village in Guma G.P. of Tumudibandh block in Kandhamal district, Odisha on 24 - 25 Feb, 2013. More than a thousand farmers attended the event. Farmers from Kandhamal, Baragarh, Koraput, Nayagarh and Rayagada Districts of Odisha and Medak District of Andhra Pradesh took part in the event. Farmers shared their experience, traditional knowledge and local seeds at the Festival.
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State level Workshop on Millets for Foods and Nutrition, 31st December, 2012, Bhubaneswar, India
A state level workshop on Millets for Foods and Nutrition was organized at DRTC, Bhubaneswar on 31st December, 2012.  The experience of revival of millets based farming system in Kandhamal was shared. Millets is just not a crop, it is a cropping system. Millets provides not just foods but nutritious foods to tribals and resource poor farming community. In NIRMAN’s field area 12 extinct varieties were restored. Mr. R. S.Gopalan, IAS, Director, Agriculture, Shri Aurobindo Behera, Retd. IAS, Prof. Radhamohan, environmentalist, Shri Priyaranjan Sahu, Bureau Chief, Hindustan Times , Scientist, NGOs working on agriculture and farmers from Kandhamal, Rayagada, Naygada, Koraput and Baragada participated in the workshop.
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Conservation of Rice Diversity & Marketing of Organic Rice, 27th March 2013, Bhubaneswar, India
A state level workshop on Conservation of Rice Diversity & Marketing of Organic Rice for Livelihood Improvement of Smallholder Farmers was organised by NIRMAN at IMAGE, Bhubaneswar on 27th March 2013. Rice farmers, development practioners, policy makers, rice scientists and NGOs participated and deliberated on conservation of indigenous rice varieties of Odisha and creation for its markets. There was exhibition of more than 1200 variety indigenous rice variety by farmers, NGOs and Govt. at the workshop.
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Conservation initiative for lost varieties of Millets
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