Strengthening the livelihood of tribal households in remote and hilly terrains: The “Wadi” project – Rajasthan

MOHAMMED IQBAL, The Hindu, JAIPUR, February 4, 2012

An ambitious project sponsored by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in 15 villages of the tribal-dominated Anandpuri block in Banswara district of Rajasthan has strengthened the rural livelihood scenario by successfully connecting missing links of resource management in agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, pasture, medicinal products and fruits.

The “Wadi” project, named after a system for land-based production in local parlance, has especially promoted agro-horticulture and agro-forestry, thereby enhancing the socio-economic status of the resource-poor families, and has so far helped about 500 households in improving their livelihoods and crossing the poverty line. […]

Mr. Joshi says Vaagdhara had laid emphasis on providing an important role to women in decision-making and involved them in a big way in economic activities and non-traditional roles. Besides, the village communities have been organised in a three-tier set-up so as to sustain efforts for production enhancement and equitable benefits.

The project is all set to reduce input costs in agriculture and animal husbandry systems on the one hand and enhance production on the other in the years to come. Support in the shape of Wadi would strengthen the economy of primary production in the remote and hilly terrains. […]

While tribal communities in the region earlier had a forest resource based livelihood, large-scale deforestation forced them to shift to farming activities on a sloping land and caused degradation. Continued and damaging run-off resulted in the loss of agricultural land along the stream course and led to an adverse effect on the ground water conditions in the district.

According to Mr. Joshi, NABARD had extended financial help to Vaagdhara for enhancing skills, improving resources and building new institutions in the field of land-based production mainly through resource development and management. “Recycling of nutrients is an [added] advantage of the project,” he says.

On its conclusion, the project is expected to make the target tribal households “drought-proof” with better nutritional resources and increase per hectare unit yield of different crops. With the livelihood available locally, production efficiency is set to improve and linkages for sustainable development strengthened.

Source: The Hindu : Today’s Paper / NATIONAL : Rural bank doing wonders for poor tribal households
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Date Visited: Tue Mar 27 2012 09:43:19 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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