Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods

Farm- based Livelihoods
Agriculture is the mainstay of living of the community that we work with. Unnayan has given utmost importance on increasing productivity, bringing wasteland under cultivation, crop diversification and creating avenues for irrigation. We promote village- level bodies like farmer’s clubs that are managed by the members themselves.

  Formation of Farmers Clubs/Farmers Groups to take up agriculture and other allied activities.
  Promotion of agriculture among the tribal families to stop migration, which is rampant among this community in the lean seasons.
  Promotion of Water User’s Associations for micro irrigation projects with farmers cooperation and active participation
  Farm Mechanization to reduce the burden of farm work on women
  We are looking at working on issues of integrated natural resource management with sustainable organic agriculture at the core of livelihood.

Non- Farm Livelihoods

Livestock promotion
The community in this area traditionally keeps some chicken and goats that act as a buffer for the family during a crisis.
In case of an emergency, the family sells this for immediate cash. As a result, all families know how to bring up livestock. Through the promotion of livestock, we are looking at the community capitalizing on this knowledge. The aim of this programme is to impact the lives of the beneficiaries by bringing about social and economic change through small livestock and capacity building. The following are the objectives of the programme

  To create livelihood opportunities in the village in order to check migration by 50 % among partner families
  To organize people into self-sustaining informal institutions
  To facilitate partner families develop values of mutual help and self-help
  To empower women through these processes

Wastelands in the vicinity of tribal villages are the unutilized resources having the capacity of getting transformed into an income generating asset for the community. These resources if tapped properly could become a strong contributing factor to food security of the community on sustainable basis. Unnayan could recognize the potentiality of wasteland in turning into food basket for the tribal communities and resilience and perseverance of the tribal which can lead to regeneration of the barren stony upland into green fields.

The district of Mayurbhanj has vast uplands that are unsuitable for agriculture. Unnayan, worked intensively over a period of six months with the communities to develop a plan for utilizing these uplands. Commercial plantation on these lands was the solution. The community has planted Mango, Cashew, Bamboo, Sabai Grass etc.

Non- timber forest-produce
Agriculture is the primary occupation of tribal families in the district of Mayurbhanj. Since the area is rain- fed and mono cropped, the families also depend on the forests around them to supplement their incomes. For this, they collect Sal (Shorea robusta) leaves from the forest and sell them to entrepreneurs and traders who use this for making bio- degradable and organic plates and bowls.

Micro Enterprises

Baripada Mudhi
The Mayurbhanj Mahila Association (MMA)—an all woman collective of puffed- rice or Mudhi producers in the district of Mayurbhanj in Orissa in India. The cooperative was formed in 2002 when a small group of 10 women came together on an experimental basis to sell their mudhi collectively. Being a part of the staple diet in the area, mudhi is consumed in every home and hence, also prepared in each home. Everyone was skeptical when the cooperative first began, including the women who were a part of it. Today, there are 150 women who are members of the cooperative and rely on the income they earn from producing mudhi and selling it to people all across the state of Orissa through MMA. In July 2007, Mayurbhanj Mahila Association acquired the trademark for their product ‘Baripada Mudhi. more....

Leaf plates and cups
Tribal families in Mayurbhanj collect leaves from the Sal trees Traders buy these leaves from the community at very low prices, convert them to organic plates and bowls and sell them in the local markets and urban centres at very high prices. In order to ensure that maximum profit reaches the poor tribal families, Unnayan selected some marginalized members from the community and provided then with machines that mould these leaves into plates and cups. As a result of this, these families are now earning an additional average income of Rs.500/-per month for six months from Sal leaf stitching and bowl-making vocation. Earlier machines were being supplied by the sal leaf plate traders on loan, as a result of which they were dictating terms for these tribals. This was a kind of exploitation by the traders. The people were being bonded with the traders to supply the product at the rate fixed by them. But with the ownership of machines, now the beneficiaries’ bargaining power has increased, as they are no more indebted to the traders.

Even the government has come forward to support the families in buying the molding machines

Sabai Rope- making
Effort has been made through our project in Mayurbhanj to orient people to bring the wasteland under cultivation of Sabai grass (Eulaliopsis binata). Sabai is mainly sold in form of dry grass and rope. Unnayan has supplied twisters to some marginalized tribal families. Since sabai is a seasonal crop and rope making is usually done at the leisure time of the people, therefore the villagers use the twisters on rotational basis. Sabai grass and rope has a readymade market and people are already adapted to this crop. There are large patches of waste land where sabai grass can be cultivated. A large local market where supply is well below the demand ensures that the family will always benefit from this.





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Contact Us

Coordinating Office
HIG- 185, Kanan Vihar Phase - 1
PO Patia, Bhubaneswar – 751031
Orissa, India
Ph - +91-674-274-1112, 274-1198
Fax- 0674- 2743033 (attn: Unnayan

Field Office -
Unnayan,At- Tambakhuri, Po. Rajghat, District. Mayurbhanj, Orissa, PIN: 756030.
Ph: +91-6781-237841