Rural Livelihoods

Rural Livelihoods

  • Partner: ASSEFA
  • Area: Tamil Nadu
  • Project Participants: 12,819
  • 2012-2015
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This project offered exciting, innovative and cost-effective ways of increasing incomes and improving the quality of life of farmers and women in the project area in Kancheepuram District, through the provision of knowledge, skills and capital.  Over three years the following was achieved:

  1. 118 trained farmers motivated 2,847 other farmers to take up improved agricultural methods and to join farmers groups.
  2. 68 small scale dairy farmers started new dairy groups with 1319 members. Links to ASSEFA’s milk processing plant provided a secure market for their milk supply.
  3. 103 women were trained to offer advice and support, especially on starting small businesses and on women and children’s health issues, to 8,364 women enrolled in micro-credit groups.


Agriculture Based Livelihoods Promotion

118 progressive farmers/mentors were identified and trained in new skills and techniques in their fields; they then helped other farmers employ successful agricultural practices, increasing incomes and reducing risk.

A total of 2,847 farmers were helped to come together and learn from each other by sharing their experiences. All of these farmers received support in at least one of the following areas: direct or indirect training or financial support. They were also encouraged and supported by the progressive farmers to:

  • Introduce new crops such as turmeric, tapioca, floriculture and vegetables.
  • Introduce scientific cultivation practices such as ways of rice intensification.
  • Apply labour saving implements for sowing, weeding, spraying and harvesting.
  • Apply water management techniques for irrigation such as drip, distribution pipelines etc., for conservation and more effective usage of water.

The progressive farmers were recognised through highlighting their achievements in ASSEFA’s monthly Tamil magazine, ‘Salaram’ of which about 15,000 copies were printed and circulated every month throughout Tamil Nadu.

Dairy Based Livelihoods Promotion

68 progressive dairy farmers/mentors were identified and trained. These progressive farmers were willing to learn new skills and techniques, to experiment in their own fields and to help others employ methods which increased incomes from dairy farming.

1,319 dairy farmers enrolled.

As noted in the evaluation study, those farmers with heifer calves benefited from:

  1. Good returns in a short period (up to 300% within 2 years)
  2. About 70% of farmers retained the animal after calving and so benefited from the secure market for milk provided by ASSEFA’s Pooriyampakkam dairy factory and milk marketing company.

Farmers with surplus milk production were linked with the ASSEFA dairy factory for sales.

Training was given to all dairy farmers in respect of clean milk production and in improvement of the quality of milk, as the price of milk is fixed based on the quality (fat and SNF content of milk). Linkages were also established with a nearby veterinary hospital for treatment of animals and artificial insemination.

To assess dairy farmers’ problems and to arrange necessary services, the project promoted a ‘Milk Producers Company.’

Rural Women’s Health Care

The 3-year target of 60 trained women was exceeded with 103 women trained to empower women SHG members in a range of issues including basic health care.

By end of March 2015, all 8,364 SHG members in the project area had been covered by the project.

Due to the project these 103 women were able to disseminate knowledge in leadership, savings and financial management, health care services etc. to the SHG members.

These women were encouraged and supported to promote the following to benefit their fellow SHG members:

  1. Wage loss compensation for pregnant women who cannot afford not to work during last three months of their pregnancy. During the project, a total of 174 women benefited from public collections made on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday anniversary.
  2. Awareness creation of antenatal and post-natal care services
  3. Community weddings for bride and bridegrooms who are orphans or physically challenged or from economically poor families.
  4. Identification of women headed families and arranging for special support for them in livelihood activities, especially livestock rearing and agriculture production.
  5. Participation in health camps and in post health camp services.

Current Project Funders

  • CLSA Chairmans’ Trust
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