What is the Khadkat Farm?
At CRHP’s 100-acre Khadkat Farm, there is a continued demonstration of collective farming techniques to improve agriculture for both subsistence and cash crops. The farm also hosts the Mabelle Arole Rehabilitation Center (MARC) for women abandoned by their husbands and families, as well as those living with stigmatized diseases. These women are responsible for the operations of the farm. The majority of the grain and vegetables served on our campus, which includes food served in the training center, preschool, and staff living quarters, comes from the farm. Excess agricultural and value-added items, such as compost and nutrient-rich soil, are sold in the local market, providing an avenue for income generation.
What is the history of Khadkat Farm?
The history of the Khadkat Farm goes back to the 1970’s when the land was donated to CRHP by a former CRHP hospital patient. Without the resources or expertise in place, however, it was not until the mid 1980s that development of the land began, and although external agricultural experts were originally brought in to work as consultants, their methods were often expensive or inappropriate for CRHP’s needs. As a result, farming techniques were studied in-house with limited support from outside consultants. Gradually, staff members acquired expert knowledge in areas such as organic farming and appropriate crop choice and were able to pass on their skills through the use of the farm’s demonstration plots.
By the early 1990’s, the farm began to expand its infrastructure, building training halls and living facilities to cater for up to 200 farmers at a time. During the same period, Farmers’ Clubs were expanding in the villages, and members of the clubs assumed roles as teachers and instructors at the farm’s training center, passing on their knowledge to new generations of farmers.
Following two years of persistence drought from 2011-2013, investment in projects has declined slightly; however, thanks to sales of surplus fertilizer and milk, Khadkat Farm remains close to 100 percent sustainable.
What population does Khadkat Farm serve?
The farm runs several projects that assist local farmers and generate income. The vermiculture project creates high quality, organic fertilizer from cow dung and other waste on the farm. What fertilizer is not used on the farm is sold at market to provide an important source of income. CRHP is also in the process of creating a new water reservoir to aid in responding to drought which will contain enough water (20 million liters) to irrigate crops on the farm and help fill wells, raising the water table in the process.
What are the goals of the Khadkat Farm?
- To act as a demonstration farm for local farmers(Experts at Khadkat Farm are able to advise on a variety of subjects such as crop choices, financial returns, yields, agroforestry, and organic methods of farming).
- To provide 70 to 80percent of food demands for the CRHP campus training center, living quarters, and preschool, which drastically reduces overall CRHP costs.
- Provide a source of rehabilitation and independence for women at CRHP’s Mabelle Arole Rehabilitation Center for women who are survivors of domestic violence, burnings, and stigmatized diseases such as Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDs
- To host learning seminars to local, national, and international individuals on sustainable farming for an arid climate