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Project Component 3

Agricultural Livelihoods Support Services

The design principle of Agricultural livelihood support services component is based on an assessment of ground realities and addresses the current gaps in support services and emerging opportunities for improving agricultural livelihoods of the tank users. This is a twin-track approach of filling the strategic gaps in production and post production / marketing and capturing the emerging opportunities in agri-business. It will strengthen the livelihoods of the tank users by maximizing returns and bridging the gap through partnerships and collaborations. Two types of opportunities are emerging i) the producers are linked to better market channels for existing production; and ii) where production – including new products – takes place more in line with consumer choice / market preference. Also the present situation involves long, multi-tiered value chains with a large number of intermediate actors, reducing the incomes at the producer level. There is great potential for increasing returns to producers by intervening in critical points in the value chain.
Objective

The objectives of Agricultural Livelihood Support Services component are as:

  • To improve production and productivity of tank system
  • To improve returns to farmers and other tank users through development of better market linkages and promotion of business development service

The livelihood activities broadly include improvement in agriculture, horticulture, livestock, fisheries, foreshore plantations and agri-business.. 


A. Agriculture / horticulture sub-component

Objectives: In the above context, the project plans to take up agriculture and horticulture interventions with the following objectives:

  • To improve the productivity of crops by technology demonstration, training and backstopping
  • To influence cropping pattern changes (crop diversification) through market led extension
  • To facilitate cost reduction through demonstration of appropriate technologies, agronomic practices and collective inputs procurement
  • To promote water saving crops to improve Water Use Efficiency

Interventions

Technology demonstrations

This intervention will mainly focus on intensification of the existing cropping system and Promotion of market led cropping systems through demonstration of high yielding varieties, integrated nutrient and pest Management, improved agronomic and water management practices and introduction of new crops/varieties depending on emerging market opportunities.

Demonstration and adoption plots

The project considers the best way to build capacities of the tank command area farmers in terms of orientation on technology aspects and adoption of improved technology is through demonstration and adoption. These demonstrations will be conducted in the selected lead farmer’s field. The indicative list of demonstration will be on SRI cultivation, integrated crop management, NADEP pits, Vermi compost units, Integrated Pest Management, IPM demonstrations in vegetables, Vegetable cultivation, Seed production, Fodder Demonstrations, and Fodder multiplication plots etc.

Capacity building

Capacity building of line department staff, project staff, SO staff, WUA and farmers will be undertaken. Important activities under this are exposure visits, within and outside the state and trainings.


B. Livestock Development

Objectives: The main objective of the livestock component is to improve the productivity of the livestock in an integrated manner to ensure increased contribution from the livestock to family income. This will be achieved by the following measures:

  • Breed Improvement through doorstep AI
  • Improved nutrition through fodder development
  • Improved animal health care

Other objectives include the development of sheep and ram-lamb rearing activities for poor and vulnerable groups in the tank areas.

Interventions

Identification of the milk routes

The project considers identifying the existing milk routes, super impose with the tank map and concentrate in those tanks which converge with the milk route. Interventions are planned to develop the livestock to maximum potentiality and increase the milk yield in the identified tanks in the selected milk routes.

Identification of the Gopal Mitras and their training

Gopal Mitra is a local person from community, trained in the animal breeding, and health management and is the link between the line department and community to supplement efforts of the line department in terms of outreach.

The project plans to provide support to about 1000 such existing Gopala Mitras by providing refresher training and logistic support to DAH for monitoring and technical backup. The project also plans to introduce 500 new Gopala Mitras over a five year project period. The project aims at producing 1000 cross bred cattle by each gopala mitra area over the project period of 5 years. This will necessitate proper selection of tanks, close monitoring of performance of Gopal Mitra and continued technical backup.

Animal health management

The project would support positioning of well trained gopala mitras and conducting animal vaccination camps and de-worming camps, every year to build capacities of the cattle farmers in animal health management and availability of the medication at door step. The Kisan Melas planned in the tank areas will also be used as one of vaccination event on yearly basis. These arrangements will ensure regular vaccination of animals and lead to reduced incidence of diseases.

Fodder development

Specific interventions planned for nutrition improvement include:

  • Fodder demonstration plots displaying various fodder varieties, their nutrient values along with crop management methods
  • Fodder multiplication plots by providing fodder slips / seedlings on cost basis.
  • Promotion of azolla on pilot basis to supplement nutrition for higher yield.

 

Ram-lamb rearing

The project proposes to promote ram lamb rearing units for Common Interest Group (CIG) in the drought prone districts having high sheep density on a cost sharing basis. Setting up one ram lamb rearing unit involves a shed (sheep pen), 20 animals, medicines, equipment, insurance and feed supplement.  

 

Training

Training is proposed for various stakeholders such as farmers at tank level, gopala mitra, department staff and project staff on various aspects of cattle management.


C. Fisheries Development

Objectives: Improved income from fisheries is likely to result from the increased amount of lease rights adding to WUA corpus as per the existing Government Order. Therefore fisheries Development component adopts a broad livelihood framework designed for the Project and interventions are categorized accordingly:

  • Technology promotion
  • Post production management and extension
  • Inputs, credit and linkages

Interventions for adopting extensive approach in 1000 selected tanks

Physical Infrastructure: Revival and restoration of tank system will have improved condition for fish growth and harvesting. The WUA and FCS would also resolve for mutual understanding and cooperation in maintaining the tank bed accordingly in future.

Strengthening dialogue process between WUA and FCS: Due to differential interest between WUA and Fishermen Cooperative Society (FCS) arising out of stake and seasonality of operation, it is essential to initiate and strengthen a dialogue process between FCS and WUA. In this regard, project proposes the following interventions:

  • Co-option of fisher folk into WUA as per the GO.
  • Selection of 2 representatives from FCS as special invitees for the WUA management committee meetings
  • Involvement of fisher folk in TIMP preparation right from the PRA stage, supported by the fisheries specialists from the fisheries department and the project
  • Ensuring the participation of FCS representatives in the proposed water audit and crop planning of the tank to deliberate and plan for fisheries development as well

Technology introduction for production enhancement: Technology introduction for production enhancement includes promotion of fingerlings and provision of supplementary feed to the fish. Usage of fingerlings in place of seed and feed supplement after 2-3 months enhances production significantly.

Capacity Building: Project envisages capacity building of fisher folk includes orientation and skill trainings on production and management aspects of fisheries.

Interventions for adopting intensive approach in 70 selected tanks

Intensive approach will be adopted in selected 70 tanks where additional inputs will be provided to these active FCS and fisher folk beyond production enhancement. The inputs include institutional strengthening, marketing support and capacity building in production and marketing management. Business development opportunities in these tanks will be firmed up by supporting the working capital requirement and building the capacities accordingly.

Some of the specific interventions that are proposed are:

  • Feed management: This includes provision of feed consisting of oil cake, rice bran and organic manure. A Zinc boat will also be supplied for effective feed application and management. Fisheries department will provide the feed to FCS.
  • Supply of prawn seed: As part of diversification, prawn culture is also planned to be promoted along with existing fish culture for enhanced benefits. Prawn seed will be supplied to the FCS by fisheries department supported by the project.
  • Provision of working capital: Working capital requirement for medicines and transportation will be provided from the agri business and marketing fund. Transportation with ice filled trucks to major markets will be key intervention which requires short term but bulk requirement. Fisheries department will facilitate the entire process through the lead fisherman from the FCS.
  • Capacity Building: This includes exposure visits, Skill training on storage, transportation and marketing, Training on FCS management, Partnership development with existing contractors’ agents for marketing.

D. Foreshore Plantation

Objectives: The foreshore plantations sub-component has the following objectives:

  • Effective utilization of tank foreshore areas
  • Introduction of foreshore plantation for resources mobilization for WUA for tank management and maintenance.
  • Improving fodder and fuel wood situation in tank areas
  • Creating income generation resources for Water Users Association 

Interventions

The success of plantation of forestry will depend on selection of appropriate sites and size, identification of plant species and survival of plantation by sustaining interest of CIG and WUA members during the gestation period. Accordingly the following interventions are envisaged in the project:  

  • Site Selection: Identification and demarcation of appropriate size for plantation is the crucial activity in the foreshore plantation component. Common lands in the tank will be identified by WUA considering the technical feasibility and appropriateness of size as well as adequacy of plot size for plantation. It is proposed to take up plantation on about minimum 5 ha of land in the tank area.
  • Formation of CIGs: The Support Organization will facilitate organization of poor to form CIGs to undertake the forestry plantation on common land.  The Social Forestry officials together with WUA will identify appropriate land for plantation. The CIG will be trained in pre-plantation and plantation activities.
  • Nursery raising: After selection of appropriate species together by social forestry personnel and the WUA, the CIG members will take up nursery raising in collaboration with Social Forestry Wing. The CIG members will be trained in nursery raising.
  • Site preparation: Site preparation work will be taken up by the CIG including pit digging work. Appropriate spacing will be maintained to ensure proper growth of trees.
  • Plantation and other cultural operations: First two years of plantation are crucial where some aftercare activities will be needed to ensure better survival of saplings. The plantation will be taken up as a collective activity on a fixed day and community members will be encouraged to participate in the plantation activities. This will be necessary to provide priority to plantation during the cropping season.

The aftercare activities during the first and second year will include, casualty replacement, weeding, soil working and watch and ward of the plantation.

  • Maintenance and operation: Regular plant maintenance operations will be taken up by CIGs under the guidance of Social Forestry personnel who will undertake periodic monitoring of plantation to assess the growth and identify need based interventions.

 
Regular watch and ward of the plantation will be responsibility of the WUA and CIGs. Need based mechanism will be set up by the WUA under the facilitation of the Support organization,


E. Marketing and business development

Background

Marketing of the produce plays a very critical role in the farm economics and livelihoods. There have been very few models where farmers get assured and remunerative price on his produce. On the other side there are a number of agro processing companies and food industries which require timely and adequate, quality agricultural produce. Lack of supply chain integration and lack of integration of the farmer with the other end of supply chain i.e. choice of the consumer is the core issue. There is a need of integrating the farmer with supply chain and reduce the length of the supply chain. To achieve the integration of supply chain and reduce the length of supply chain, the best possible way is public – private partnership. The project aims to intervene in the tank area agricultural marketing system to enable the command area farmer to utilize emerging market opportunities. At present the various problems that farmers face in realizing the optimum farm gate price include:

  • Lack of sufficient quantity of produce for marketing at individual level
  • Long, multi-tier supply chain for farm commodities
  • Lack of market information and market intelligence
  • Lack of market linkages

Interventions

The agri-business component of the project envisages bridging these gaps through various targeted interventions.

Identification of new business opportunities

The project is keen to study the possibilities of utilizing the emerging business opportunities and prepare the location specific and commodity specific business strategies from the point of view of partners, market scenario, supply and value chain analysis and its linkage with tank level farmers.

Updating market information

Buyers-sellers meets: The buyer-sellers meet will be conducted annually to have interactions between buyers and sellers, develop long term business relations, exchange views on the market situation, enter into partnerships, identify opportunities, and solve the problems and pricing etc.

Public Private Partnership building: Annual public private partnership workshops are planned for mutual understanding of public and private partners, identify opportunities, define partnership areas, and design the partnership modalities etc.

Market intelligence: Market intelligence covers various aspects like information, analysis and recommendations on the area of cultivation, international trends, rain fall and weather situation suitable for each commodity, international market trends, and future prospects for the specific commodity in local language. This information will help the CIG in decision making of crop selection, storage decision, market decision etc. The project plans to identify suitable partners for the supply of market intelligence and update the web site with this information for the use of the WUA members.

Dissemination of market information to users

Market information and Market intelligence: Market information is very crucial in decision making and price fixation for collective marketing. The project intends to spread the market information among the CIG members, by leveraging availability of advanced technology such as:

  • website,
  • SMS
  • Local cable network
  • Information through Radio
  • Village Knowledge centers etc.

The market information will cover the daily market trends in the 5-6 major market rates of each commodity at state and national market situation. It will also cover  improved production technologies of different crops and cropping practices which can help the farming community to take right decision in right time.

Development of market infrastructure

The collective marketing process involves procurement of the produce from members of WUA. To perform this activity WUAs require some basic equipments depending upon the type of activity. The project proposes to provide these equipments to WUA and other stakeholders following a selection criteria. Different types of equipments that are planned at different level are as follows:
 

  • Village collection center equipment-: as weighing scales for procurement, moisture meters for quality testing, gunny bags for packing, tarpaulins for drying etc
  • Cluster level collection center equipment: The advanced collection center equipment includes electronic scales, Moisture meters, drying platform, grading scales, internet kiosk etc.
  • Horticulture grading equipment: Equipments for horticultural grading centers to cluster of tanks such as: shed, grading screens, grading equipment and trays etc. 
  • Ice boxes: ice boxes to the fisher women to preserve the produce for longer period.

  • Strengthening of milk marketing arrangements: The existing milk route gets extended to cover some of the project tank areas presently not falling on the route. Increasing volume of collection at some viable locations will be taken up through the capital support. The project facilitates this by negotiating with existing dairy cooperative/private dairy agencies for the expansion of the milk route.
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