Lakhpati Kisan: Yuva Mitra's Sustainable Livelihood Project in Nandurbar
PROJECT FUNDED BY: SHABARI ADIVASI VITTA va VIKAS MAHAMANDAL MARYADIT, NASHIK
LOCATION: NANDURBAR, PROJECT DURATION: 2022-25
In the heart of Maharashtra’s tribal-dominated Nandurbar district lies a transformative project led by Yuva Mitra. Titled “Improving HH incomes through layered agriculture-based livelihood intervention to 6000 Households,” this initiative is set to change the lives of 6000 tribal households across 40 villages in the Akkalkuwa and Dhadgaon blocks. The tribal communities residing here have faced historical disparities, limited access to resources, and daunting geographical hurdles. For far too long, their agricultural practices have been hampered by soil erosion, water scarcity, and outdated farming methods. The need for intervention was undeniable. Recognizing this, Yuva Mitra embarked on a journey to uplift these tribal families. The project’s inception was rooted in the understanding that economic empowerment alone cannot suffice. To truly transform lives, it was imperative to address multifaceted challenges encompassing agriculture, irrigation, livestock, and community development.
The region’s unique topography presented an opportunity for innovative solutions in soil and water conservation. High runoff and soil erosion demanded immediate attention, and the project’s approach was tailored to suit these needs. By introducing techniques such as loose boulder structures, gabions, and field bunds, Yuva Mitra aimed not only to protect the environment but also to preserve the rich agricultural heritage of the region.
Water, the lifeblood of agriculture, remained a challenge in these hilly terrains. Solar-based irrigation, well deepening, and the formation of Water User Groups emerged as key strategies to ensure equitable access to this precious resource. Livelihood development took center stage, with a focus on goat-based enterprises. In an area plagued by high goat mortality rates, the project’s vaccination camps, quality breed inductions, and training initiatives aim to empower women and create sustainable income streams.
The Vision: The project’s vision is clear – to double the annual income of tribal families from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 60,000 through innovative agricultural practices. It recognizes the need for holistic development, encompassing agriculture, irrigation, livestock, and community empowerment.
Agricultural Development: The foundation of this transformation is agriculture. By enhancing crop productivity and diversifying into high-value vegetables and spices, the project aims to boost local economies. Through initiatives like the Trellis system, drip irrigation, and poly house nurseries, farmers receive cutting-edge knowledge and resources to improve their yield and income.
Soil & Water Conservation: In the hilly terrain of the Satpura ranges, soil erosion is a significant challenge. Yuva Mitra tackles this problem with innovative solutions like loose boulder structures and gabions. These measures not only control erosion but also conserve water, ensuring a sustainable future for agriculture.
Water Conservation & Irrigation Development: Access to water is crucial for agriculture. The project introduces solar-based irrigation and well deepening to efficiently utilize water resources. By forming Water User Groups, the community takes ownership of these assets, ensuring their maintenance and sustainability.
Livelihood Development: Goat-based livelihoods play a pivotal role. With high goat mortality rates in the region, Yuva Mitra implements vaccination camps and introduces high-quality breeds. Women are empowered through business management training and scientific goat rearing practices, creating a sustainable income source.
Institution Building: Strengthening village institutions is at the heart of community development. By training VI leaders, facilitating exposure visits, and offering guidance on Producers Companies, Yuva Mitra empowers communities to take charge of their progress.
Commitment to SDGs: This project is not just about economic growth; it’s about creating a sustainable future aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It addresses SDG 1 (No Poverty) by doubling incomes, SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) by improving agricultural practices, and SDG 5 (Gender Equality) by empowering women through goat rearing. Additionally, it supports SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) by focusing on water conservation and SDG 13 (Climate Action) by implementing climate-resilient farming practices.
Yuva Mitra’s commitment to SDGs goes beyond numbers. It signifies a commitment to holistic development, environmental sustainability, and community empowerment. This project in Nandurbar is not just about income; it’s about transforming lives and building a brighter, more sustainable future for tribal communities.