WADI project holds great promise for tribal communities

Supporting tribal communities by promoting sustainable livelihood could significantly enhance income security.

Wadi is a NABARD funded project aims at reducing the migration of tribal people to urban centres by providing them livelihood in the form of income and basic necessities like fuel wood, timber and cattle fodder.

The first stakeholder’s consultation meeting for WADI project supported by NABARD and Caritas India took place on October 30, 2017 at Gorubathan block office in Kalimpong district. The workshop was attended by more than 100 people comprising of community representatives, farmers, Scientists from KVK and North Bengal University, NABARD CGM, AGM and DDM, Partner Anugyalaya and CI representative Dr. Pallab De.

NABARD CGM kicked off the meeting with oath on vigilance awareness week (30 th Oct-4 th Nov) for corruption free India.

The WADI project will be implemented in Gorubathan block of Kalimpong district in 15 khasmal villages under three gram panchayats. The project coverage will be 500 acres for 500 farmers over a period of six years. Mainly fruit crops of good varieties of Guava (Allahabad Safeda), Mandarin Orange and Kiwi will be planted depending upon elevations and agro-climate. To ensure income by WADI farmers during first 3-4 years good quality seasonal vegetable crops will be intercropped in between fruit plants. Apart from the same as part of IGP bee keeping and poultry farming will be done by selected farmers.

WADI has great scope in improving livelihood of small farmers through raising of orchards of fruit plants It has other sources of income too… said the CGM of NABARD Mr. AK Ray Burman. He also added that it’s a multistakeholders approach and all should work as a team for the success of the project. Marketing of produce is always a big challenge anywhere in the country so we should promote farmers producer’s organization and organize our skill and improve our negotiation capacity on marketing through necessary value addition.  He also told to adopt organic approach to control insects and pests, diseases of fruit crops and vegetables.

Dr. Moktan Mendel, Research Scientist, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kalimpong(ICAR) told that it’s a very good opportunity given by NABARD and Caritas India to the farmers of Gorubathan block and they should work hard to make the project a good model so that others can learn. He assured of all kind of technical help and support from the KVK in future.

Dr. Pallab De Thematic Manager Caritas India shared about this unique experience to collaboration with NABARD to support partners. He also stated that based on the success of the project more examples in the hills could be created. He thanked NABARD for giving this opportunity to Caritas India and its partner Anugyalaya.

Mr. Arpan Rai, Director of Anugyalaya thanked NABARD and Caritas India for giving them such a huge opportunity. He told farmers that all kind of help would be rendered through this project the only thing is that beneficiaries have to take care of the plants and work hard to improve their economic condition. He also told that WADI approach is not an isolated thing but aims at an integrated livelihood development of the participating families in 8-100 years when it becomes visible actually.