The project “Empowering indigenous communities through Agroecology Learning Circles (ALCs) for
resilient, integrated and innovative natural resource management” is funded by the World Bank and
supported by Meghalaya Basin Management Agency (MBMA). ALCs combined agroecology with
participatory research and aims to empower indigenous communities to recognize, revive, practice, and
eventually further develop traditional agroecology technologies and practices and stimulates local innovation
for sustainable local food systems. Natural resource management investigated through ALCs include :

  • Land planning and seed selection for community resilience;
  • Increasing Yield by reducing loss through Pest Management;
  • Reversing soil degradation.

The project also aims to achieve:

  • Greater accountability across ALC members to resolve priority issues;
  • Ease of access to blended indigenous-contemporary solutions already documented;
  • Continued and expanded community learning through intuition and community led experiments;
  • Ease of knowledge exchanges across different ALC clusters;
  • Preparation for long term ALC community ownership.

The project area includes 100 villages from all three major indigenous communities in Meghalaya (Khasi,
Garo and Jaintia) across 7 of the 12 districts in Meghalaya.


The project’s MOU was signed in November 2021 and funds of Rs 1,74, 24,931. 00 (One crore seventy four lakhs twenty four thousand nine hundred and thirty one only) received on December 23, 2021. December and January was mainly preparatory works focused on recruitment, setting up systems, startup workshops with the partner organizations namely: Society for Urban and Rural Empowerment, Jowai and Social Service Centre, Shillong and confirming with the project villages through the Free Prior and Informed Consent process. The report highlights the key activities undertaken during September 2022.

Training on vertical gardening, composting and
grafting at Smok Songgital, West Garo Hills


  1. Supervise and facilitate experimentation & ensure ALC accountability : Under this activity, the Field team members- Associates and the Community Facilitators (CFs) have continued the supervision on the experiments that have been conducted by the ALC members. In this regard, a total of 60 supervisions have been achieved till the month of September.
  2. Support community to design their ALC experiments: During the month of September, the Field team members have initiated a follow up on the  designing of the ALC experiments. In this regard a total of 14 follow ups have been achieved.
  3. Training on Participatory Research methodology for ALC Experiments: Under this activity, the Field team members- Associates and the CFs have initiated a follow up on the methodology for conducting the participatory research on all the ALC experiments. In this regard, a total of five follow-ups have been achieved for the month of September.

Training on Participatory Research
methodology & ALC Experiment at Khweng,

Supervision and facilitation of experiment in
ALC farming plots at Misimagre, West Garo

Training on grafting for the farmers at Darechikgre, West Garo Hills

Plot marking in the shifting field at Sasatgre, West Garo Hills

Output Tracker 1 Category 1: Awareness and Community Trust for newly selected 71 villages Total targets Targets achieved till Sep, 2022 Remarks
A General awareness and invitation to participate given to whole community – General awareness with entire
community programme about the project explaining
project goals and objective. Manage expectations by
sharing the list of activities available under programme.
100 100 Completed
B ABD (Agrobiodiversity Walks) with community and
NESFAS experts to explore diversity of local species
40 100 Completed
C With Custodian Farmers that agreed to join ALC –
orientation and and invitation to sign free and prior
informed consent and engage support of Village Council
30 30 Completed
D Community led ALC Kick-off Workshop – explaining the purpose of ALC, ways of working, allocating leadership responsibilities, agree meeting schedules, initial expectations for long term ownership of ALC 30 103 Completed 2 Category 2: Analysis of Existing Information and
Identification of Knowledge Gaps and Opportunities
Total targets Targets achieved till Sep, 2022
A ALC Agroecology Problem Solving and Objective setting Workshop (2-3 days) – Ask community to discuss
problem; reveal solutions already available in the
community; identify knowledge gaps
40 40 Completed in 71 ALCs
B Develop a community work plan that addresses priority problems agreed on by consensus and decide on the
need for additional experts or not
40 100 Completed
C Training from NESFAS and or experts to share relevant technical and practical guidance and give ALC members opportunity to ask questions e.g. how to set up a seed bank, how to choose seeds, how to create good compost 40 48 Completed
D Facilitate exchange visits between villages that have
complementary problems/solutions so ALC members can
learn from other ALC members in other regions
40 40 Completed 3 Category:3 Community Led Participatory
Research and Experiments
Total targets Targets achieved till Sep, 2022
A Training on Participatory Research methodology for ALC Experiments that includes information on data
collection, stakeholder engagement, data analysis
25 46 Follow up Ongoing
B Support community in design their ALC experiments 30 53 4 Category 4 : Supervise and facilitate
experimentation & ensure ALC accountability
Total targets Targets achieved till Sep, 2022
A Variety of activities to include field inspections, support in
answering practical questions, sourcing of missing
information, accountability
55 60 Follow up Ongoing
B Analyse experiment results and draft feedback and
recommended follow-up actions
35 0 5 Category 5 :Knowledge Dissemination and
Total targets Targets achieved till Sep, 2022
A Transfer experiment feedback and findings into videos,
leaflets, community demonstrations
30 0 Ongoing
B Share experiment findings at village and cluster level through
meetings and workshops and events e.g. food festivals,
seeds fairs
10 0
C Develop a Detailed Knowledge Collation and Communication
1 0
D Execution of social media and radio campaigns as per
216 Social
10 Radio
E Regular identification of ALC community member ready to
share their findings and participatory video and audio
60 stories 39
15 PV 0
F State level workshop to share findings with policy makers 1 0 6 Category 6 :Empowering Community to
Continue Long Term Problem Shooting
Total targets Targets achieved till Sep, 2022
A Workshop to develop a plan of action with the village
councils to take forward the initiative
50 0 To be conducted after
development of



Stories from the ground:


  1. Agroecology Learning Circle members of Mynri Umsning adopt local composting technique
  2. Farmer from Jaintia Hills adopts natural pest control methods
  3. Traditional Farming over the decades with Bah Bini Suchiang of Thadmuthlong




  1. Supervision of experiments.
  2. Development of IEC materials.
  3. Data collection of experiments.
  4. Analysis of data.
  5. Planning for dissemination of knowledge.


“I urge my fellow farmers to conserve and practice traditional method of composting as it is very helpful for the growth of the crops and on the       other hand, it acts as a boon for farmers”.

-Bini Suchiang, ALC membrs,

“I feel delighted to have worked with
NESFAS from time to time as it aims to
revive and promote traditional farming and
I feel really thankful for having attended the
composting training on since it has proved
to be very useful for us.”
-Rikor Sohtun, ALC member,
Mynri Umsning

“Through the composting training, I feel I
have been enriched with a lot of knowledge
and information and with this I was able to
carry it forward to my community to
implement the same to the ALC members”
-Dora Lyngdoh, ALC member,
Mynri umsning

“The natural pest control method is
considered an easy and inexpensive
solution for managing pests and therefore, I
urge others to start practicing this method
instead of chemical pesticides which
normally affects the crops and soil health”.
-Ende Suting, custodian farmer,




Supervision and facilitation of the treatment plot at
Sohmynting, West Jaintia Hills

Related Posts