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Terms of Reference for Study

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Multicomponent Natural Farming with its production elements interacting with each other to reduce external input and improve total farm biomass production is practiced in various farms in pockets of India. This principle has been a commonly practiced by small and marginal farmers and has also been fine tuned by many institutes and Civil Society Organisations as Integrated Farming, Ecological Farming etc. A short-term study is planned to understand the impact of such farming practices based on the principles of natural farming on the nutrition of the farmer’s family and the locality.  

The project reference: The study is planned to be commissioned from the project ‘Promotion of Sustainable Integrated Farming System through Multiactor Partnership’ by Welthungerhilfe India, DRCSC, PRASARI and WASSAN, supported by BMZ.

Research Hypothesis

The study is based on the hypothesis that Natural Farming, which diversifies and integrates production elements, can lead to better nutrition of farmer families. Assessing the performance of 100 natural farmers for their production, nutrition profile, food and nutrition diversity in 5 study regions from across the country will help to understand the current status of the stated hypothesis.

Research Question and Objectives

The study will try to figure out to what extent natural farming supports improvement of nutritional quality of a farmer family through the following objectives –  

  • To assess nutritional adequacy, self-sufficiency and dietary diversity in food consumption of the farmer families.
  • To assess the surplus sold to the market to understand how natural farming can influence the nutrition availability in the market.

Suggested Research Methodology

The 100 farms (80 NF and 20 non-NF as control) will be selected and interviewed from



1. Banswara / Rajasthan (Central Highlands under Agro Ecological Sub Region 5.2)

2. Himachal Pradesh or Uttarakhand (Western Himalaya)

3. Sundarbans / West Bengal (Coastal saline and Humid)

4. Deoghar /Jharkhand (Central North Eastern Platuae  and semi arid)

5. Andhra Pradesh or Telangana (South India dry land).



The farmers who are practicing diversified and integrated natural farming for 7~10 years will be selected.


The farms will be evaluated for their:

  • Production calendar (including crop-tree-poultry-aquaculture-collected food) to assess production diversity and associated practices (pest/disease management practice, soil nutrient management practices, seed management practice) which has potential impact on the quality of food produced.
  • Minimum Dietary Diversity Scoring for women MDDS(W) by 24 hours recall method according to the FAO (click here) ( and FHI 360), including the source of production of each component. The MDDS(W) scoring will give the micro and macro nutrient adequacy and self-sufficiency.
  • Months of Adequate Household Food Provisioning (MAHFP) for Measurement of Household Food Access (click here).
  • Production surplus, surplus handling mechanism (processing, selling to the market, market demand).


The required data will be collected by the enumerator from the CSOs who has facilitated the NF process who will be trained on the data collection and interviewing tool.

Suggested Timeline

The Consultant is expected to submit

Research methodology


Financial Proposal

CV with reference to similar studies

The consultant needs to submit the proposal by 12th February, 2024 to fill up the Google Form [https://forms.gle/qbakNKs7FJnZDg9ZA].

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