Building Sustainable Livelihood
SWATI is widening livelihood options, as one of the key adopted strategies, both farm and non-farm sectors for reducing poverty in the remote underdeveloped tribal Kandhamal district of Odisha. Popularization of sustainable agriculture practices, conservation of natural resources, promotion of people’s organization like Self-help group (SHG), farmers group, primary producers groups and their federations, facilitation of people’s access to government schemes, enhancement of market linkages and provision of skill-building support for promotion of off and non-farm micro enterprise/ social enterprise are some of the key elements in this pursuit. Thus SWATI’s livelihood strategy focuses on household food and nutrition security and expanding income earning opportunities for rural poor, more particularly tribals.
In addition to optimizing employment generation in agriculture and allied sectors, SWATI also strives hard to help the landless households, agricultural labourers, and small and marginal landowners explore opportunities in the largely untapped non-farm sector. Providing capacity building support and ensuring better access to market form the components of this strategy. All along, a great deal of emphasis is placed on ensuring food security through promotion of diverse and multi-cropping.
Through evidence based research the issues are indentified to take up advocacy for a pro-poor policy in livelihoods. Emphasis is made on convergence with mainstream development programmes and other stakeholders for program sustainability
Improved access to and sustainable return from Community Resources
SWATI in its persistent efforts has been trying to empower community on rights and entitlement over forest, land and water resources using FRA, Vasundhara, Mo Jami Mo Diha (rights over revenue land in favour of landless families); strengthen community institutions – Forest Rights Committee, Water user Association, Van Samrakhyan Samiti, etc. to facilitate the rights and entitlements over natural resources; create a strong community awareness for development programmes and facilitate formation as well as strengthening of necessary institutional architecture at the community and panchyat level; and ensure effective implementation of existing progressive policies to ensure greater livelihoods returns to the tribals and advocate for conducive policy environment to address structural issues of poverty and vulnerability.
Value Chain Optimization for rural products in favour of rural poor
The organization has been constantly improving the lower end of value chain with introduction of simle technology, marketing capacity and ensuring proper BDS; building capacities of local youth and women groups as value chain actors and entrepreneurs; minimum procurement and support price, and registration of traders at panchayat level for NTFPs; tapping programme opportunities to strengthen marketing institutions and infranstructure; and finally creating a multi-actor platform for livelihoods planning and stronger interplay of specialized skills and action area for greater household returns, particularly in tribal regions.
Skill Improvement for better Employability of Youth
SWATI is instrumental in analyzing the demand and skill gaps in the tribal districts to get a clear picture of the skills that are in demand in the local areas and the quantum of unemployment that can be addressed through skill building; imparting training in vocations, like nursery raising, cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants, supply of quality horticulture plants through grafting, mushroom cultivation, dairy, poultry, pisciculture, beekeeping, NTFP based livelihoods, food processing / preservation, manufacturing of building materials, masonry, carpentry, etc. to enable the youth to choose for self-employment; and providing supports to trained youths in terms of preparation of BDPs, linkages with financial institutions, etc. to start their own enterprise.
Policy Advocacy for improved livelihoods for poor, more particularly tribal
SWATI has been putting its effort towards operationalizing the Government’s existing policy initiatives in relation to tribal’s access to land and forest products. Moreover, the organization is undertaking studies to deepen understanding on key policy issues and engage the government for policy advocacy in favour of the poor and marginalized, especially women.