The development objective of the Jharkhand Opportunities for Harnessing Rural Growth (JOHAR) Project  is to enhance and diversify household income in select farm and non‐farm sectors for targeted beneficiaries in project areas of jharkhand. Over 200,000 rural households and some 3,500 farmer producer groups are expected to benefit from the project with women as principal actors in production, processing and marketing. Women SHG members, including from scheduled castes and tribes, and smallholder and landless households from 17 districts and 68 blocks of rural Jharkhand are expected to benefit.

Sixty percent of farmers in Jharkhand are marginal and small farmers, practicing rain-fed, single-cropped farming and are highly vulnerable to climate change. Recent droughts had resulted in 40 percent crop losses in the state.  The Jharkhand Opportunities for Harnessing Rural Growth Project (JOHAR), will help the state develop climate-resilient agriculture by focusing on year-round cultivation of vegetables and diversifying into new high-yielding varieties of pulses and oilseeds. The project will also demonstrate resilient technologies for improving productivity and reducing climate risk in paddy, promote community-based micro irrigation and support the producer groups to move into value added sectors like livestock, fisheries, and non-timber forest produce. 

Today, 13.5 percent of the net sown area in Jharkhand has access to irrigation and only 5.72 percent of rural households own any irrigation equipment. The Government of Jharkhand is making efforts to enhance available resources through rainwater harvesting and watershed management, and scaling up water-use efficiency through micro-irrigation. Given the smallholdings of farmers and their relative inability to make large investments individually, JOHAR will support micro-scale irrigation schemes that are community owned, operated and maintained. New irrigation structures will include, among others, construction of farm ponds, lift irrigation schemes, and shallow wells. JOHAR will converge with the Government of Jharkhand’s existing programs on irrigation, watershed development and on-farm water use efficiency to maximize the sustainability and impact of water management interventions.

Horticulture and livestock are among the fastest growing sectors in Jharkhand. The state has made rapid progress in horticulture with around 4.27 lakh hectares under vegetables and fruits (out of the net sown area of 23.62 lakh hectares) and an all-India ranking within 10 for several vegetable crops. Livestock too is a high-value option for landless households. Market prices for meat and eggs have increased by 70–100 percent in the past decade in local markets and have also pushed up farm gate prices. The state has maintained a high growth rate of 17.23 percent in fish production over the past 11 years, despite limitations such as dependence on seasonal water bodies and recurrent droughts and contributes to 60 per cent of the country’s production in non-timber forest products. JOHAR will support producer collectives, improve production in these value added sectors, develop capacities of producers on post-harvest management and marketing and deliver skills training for community cadres and entrepreneurs.

Project Components –

The project comprises of three components.

1) The first component, diversified and resilient production and value addition will support collectives of small producers and interventions for diversification, intensification, and value‐addition in the selected sub‐sectors of high‐value agriculture (HVA), livestock, non‐timber forest produce (NTFP), fisheries, and irrigation. It consists of following sub-components: (i) rural producer collectives; (ii) high‐value agriculture development; (iii) livestock development; (iv) fishery development; (v) non‐timber forest produce development; and (vi) irrigation system development.

2) The second component will involve support for promoting market access and private sector participation, fostering skill development relevant to the focus value chains, and facilitating the development of pro-poor agricultural finance systems. It consists of following sub-components: (i) market access and private sector participation; (ii) skill, jobs, and enterprise development; and (iii) pro‐poor agricultural finance systems.

3) The third component, project and knowledge management objective is to establish effective project management and facilitate strong knowledge management