G Subhash Chandra-CHITRADURGA- Sustainable development models innovated and implemented by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), in association with MYRADA, are playing a vital role in alleviating the poverty of tribal women in central Karnataka.
The programmes have helped in improving the living conditions of nearly 5,000 women, mostly belonging to the lower strata of society.
Considering the perennial drought condition 917 tribal families spread across 16 hattis are assisted by NABARD with help from MYRADA under the ambitious Tribal Development Fund project (TDF) of Challakere taluk of the district.
After a detailed survey, these families are divided into 72 women Self Help Groups and linked with banks. Considering the agrarian background, dry land horticulture is encouraged among the members through a Tribal Development Committee set up under the chairmanship of Sanna Boramma, a tribal leader. The committee will also provide intense training in conservation of soil and water and other income generating activities.
Both the agencies (NABARD and MYRADA) planned to introduce Wadi system where in intense dry land horticulture has been taken up in 675 acres of land across 16 tribal hattis.
Under the system, one acre belonging to each tribal landholding family has been motivated to raise plantation wherein horticultural crops like mango, tamarind and sapota.
These crops sustain dry weather and are planted under protective irrigation facility for first four years after which it sustains.
About 19,000 mango tree saplings, 5,000 sapota sapling and 3,000 tamarind sapling’s approved by the horticultural department has been planted.
MYRADA is planning to link the programme with market, through which pulping, processing, grading and branding of horticultural produce will be taken up.
Other income generation activities like sheep rearing and petty shop support for the landless women. They are given `21,000 as loan, through which six sheep can be procured and reared.
Around 160 women are benefitted under the programme and further 126 families are yet to be covered. Three prone strategy of overcoming mono cropping pattern, preventing the migration of women to urban centres and improving income levels of the tribal women this Wadi programme was introduced. Crops that could sustain dry weather like Mango, Tamarind and Sapota are planted in 675 wadis.
Malini Suvarna, District Development Manager of NABARD, said after a detailed survey of the tribal villages in Challakere taluk, these 16 most backward hattis coming under Nannivala gram panchayat were selected for the TDF programme.
NABARD has sanctioned `2.51 crore for the project and works like raising of Wadis, soil and conservation and other income generation programme has been taken up, she said.
Buoyed by the success it will be intensified further, she added.
The project will be in effect from 2011 to 2017.
Sanna Boramma said, “After introducing the TDF programme in 16 hattis, our living conditions have improved. Instead of migrating to far off places, we have started earning sustainable income at out door steps.”