Sustainable rural livelihood security in the backward Districts of Maharashtra

Sustainable rural livelihood security in the backward Districts of Maharashtra

 The research paper authored by Raji Ajwani Ramchandani & Ms. Preeti Karmarkar has just been published by ScienceDirect.Com The paper covers the BAIF led NAIP (Component 3 ) sub project which commenced in 2007 in 76 villages of five backward districts of Maharashtra with the objective of developing a holistic solution for promoting sustainable livelihoods. Agriculture was the mainstay of livelihood in these areas, however usage of traditional methods, lack of proper irrigation facilities etc led to lower yields causing a ‘forced’ migration to the nearby urban centres.

A project team comprising of scientists, experts from the consortium and the local people identified the needs through PRAs and a technical study. Interventions were planned by integrating tested technologies with a family focused, area based approach. Integrated cluster development was adopted comprising of interventions that focused on: improved agriculture methods, livestock development, water resource development and forest based initiatives.

The package for improved agriculture was linked to the water resource development program. About 828 ha of land was brought under protective irrigation through TCDs , PDCs , Gabion bunds etc. As a result, an average 40% increase was achieved in agriculture productivity and an increase in income of Rs. 21,134/Acre/annum.

A value chain approach was adopted in the livestock related interventions. Critical services, technologies, improved management practices and market linkages were the major components of the cattle development initiative which so far has produced1097 hybrid heifers and created an estimated total asset value of Rs. 3.29 crore. The hybrid heifers have a significantly higher milk yield of 1600 liters versus 400 liters for the locally bred variety, yielding a gross income of Rs. 28,800/anum per family. A similar package was also offered for small ruminants such as goats. A ‘goat bank’ approach was adopted to ensure sustainability thereby benefiting 1500 families. 

The full paper can be downloaded from the appended link.

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