SANJOG - Background

SANJOG was established on 12th of June, 2014 based at Nalbari with a vision to support
strengthening of rural livelihoods. In the initial year of its establishment SANJOG devoted time in
identifying livelihood issues in rural areas of Assam. In the process SANJOG got mentorship support
from KABIL a support NGO with experience in promoting rural livelihoods. In the year 2015, SANJOG
intervened in villages of Kamrup (R) amongst marginal farmers engaged in vegetable and horticulture
farming. SANJOG intervened to provide small pumps for reducing drudgery in irrigation as farmers
manually irrigated their farmland carrying water on their shoulder load. SANJOG also supported
creating water sources like tube and bore wells to help vegetable farmers do farming during dry
months adding another cycle to their farming. In the subsequent years SANJOG collaborated with
Indian Council for Agriculture Research – Central Plantation Crops Research Institute (ICAR-CPCRI) to
showcase farmers’ and also grow SANJOGs understanding on different remunerative models on
plantation based horticultural models appropriate for Assam conditions. In the year 2017 SANJOG
shifted its base at Nalbari for interventions in backward and unreached areas of Nalbari and Baksa
districts. In the same milieu SANJOG is preparing a Vision Document for next ten years based on
currentsituation of the selected areas in order to make meaningful interventions in future.

On the sidelines SANJOG worked with farmers to promote mushroom cultivation, vegetable
farming and reintroduce early Aahu paddy cultivation in villages of Baksa district under a project
supported by Institute of Development Action (IDeA) under aegis of The Ant. The project also aimed
on displaying low cost innovative use of Nano Solar pumps (Jain irrigation) to be used by vegetable
farmers. Similar technologies will be further augmented amongst farmers for future use. SANJOG
further intends to introduce many more such technologies which have utility in agriculture and
other non-farm based activities. Reduction of farm drudgery will be one the major work for SANJOG
through use of efficient technologies and helping farmers mechanize their farming. Convergence
with different agencies was one the major work under the project which will be the focus area of
SANJOG for future also.

In coming future Baksa will be priority area as SANJOG intends to work supporting livelihoods by
working on Natural Resource Management-NRM based activities amongst farmers and intervene
with forest dwellers to support forest conservation. Innovative use of low cost technology especially
on irrigation will be an important intervention of SANJOG for future to come. Formation of quality
FPOs will be one of the main tools to augment SANJOGs activities. SANJOG has already mobilized
four clusters with sizeable numbers of farmers to come under FPO fold. SANJOG will also focus to
work with forest dwellers settled in catchment areas of India-Bhutan borders with alternate
livelihood activities

In district of Nalbari SANJOG will focus to work in most underdeveloped and landlocked areas.
Promotion of fishery and livestock alongside vegetable farming will be activities where SANJOG
intends to work with tiny and small technologies which can make difference in income of farming
households. In nonfarm activities SANJOG will touch on women of the area to engage in food
processing and weaving and its ancillary activities to increase household income. Women will be at
the core of SANJOGs activities. Inter linkages of clusters will be emphasized to build network
amongst villagers to help in each other’s activities and generate commerce

About SANJOG promoter

Piyush Saurabh Sharma after completing his graduation in the year 2004 started working in
grassroots NGO under name Manav Shakti Jagaran in district of Nalbari in Assam. Nalbari is also
native district of Piyush. He began his journey by coordinating immediate relief response amongst
1600 households in district of Nalbari and Baksa. Subsequently he was involved in coordinating
trainings on rural entrepreneurship, computer trainings, working to promote backyard poultry in
rural households and also managing microfinance program under the organization. In the year 2008
he started working independently as consultant engaging with grassroots NGOs to build their
capacities, work on independent studies like vegetable sub-sector, competition analysis with MFIs in
West Bengal, financial systems in hill economies of NE Region and other such studies. He worked
extensively with team of Northeast Indian Institute of Bank Management (IIBM) under RBI to
develop operational manuals and conduct diagnostic study on prospects of microfinance in
Meghalaya for LIFCOM (a livelihood micro finance agency under Government of Meghalaya).

In the year 2014 he joined KABIL (a support NGO working to promote rural livelihoods) to
understand context of promoting rural livelihoods. He got mentorship support from KABIL to
understand context of farm based livelihoods with marginal. In the same year he registered a NGO
with the name SANJOG in district of Nalbari. Under KABIL he engaged with small holder farmers to
work in promoting irrigation and working in convergence with PRIs to promote village planning and
MGNERGA activities. Banking on the experience gained in the year 2017 he shifted his base to
Nalbari to work amongst the most disadvantaged households of Nalbari and Baksa for promotion of
rural livelihoods through SANJOG. Since then he has continued his journey to nurture SANJOG and
work with strong focus on communities of Baksa district