Stimulating Tribal and Rural Transformation (START)

PRADAN is happy to announce its partnership with the RBL Bank Ltd. intended to help marginalised farmers and rural communities develop skills, initiatives, resources and access entitlements in poverty-stricken, tribal populated regions in the states of Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Bihar. Project START would help trigger four growth nuclei, by developing regionally suitable women centric socio-technical-institutional models for agriculture development and farm allied activities, and adopting the value-chain approach. The efforts are supposed to capacitate women-farmers with the required knowledge and skill-sets to ensure food and nutrition security for their families, adoption of high value vegetable and horticulture crops, and integration of goat rearing and backyard poultry to ensure stable, sustainable incomes. This is especially relevant in the context of revival of rural economies in the aftermath of COVID-19.

The major strands of interventions are:

  1. Mobilising rural women collectives, ensuring food security, and further strengthening livelihood activities
  2. Rural economy revival through Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)
  3. Reviving the farm sector through Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs)
  4. Micro-enterprise promotion (Sal leaf-plate & Tamarind)
  5. Diversifying livelihoods basket of small and marginal farmers (integrating livestock rearing)
  6. Promotion of self-employment

The potential impact of the project:

  1. The project is set to support 25,000 marginalised families where women from each of these families would be SHG members with 100 per cent financial inclusion
  2. Around Rs. 900 lakhs would be mobilised from various government programmes over the three-year project period for natural resource management and livelihoods support activities providing 200,000 wage labour days
  3. Irrigation command area of around 100 acres and horticulture and agro-forestry of around 300 acres would be created from MGNREGS and other government programmes
  4. Four FPOs would be set up to support 20,000 small and marginal women farmers engaged in growing food crops and commercial agriculture
  5. Around 7,500 acres of land would be brought under improved agriculture practices
  6. 200 youth would be promoted as entrepreneurs to support various livelihood activities planned in the project
  7. Two micro-enterprises would be set up around Tamarind and Sal leaf-plate making, supporting 1,500 women
  8. 75 per cent of project participants would attain annual gross household income of Rs. 80,000 and above, from a current base of about Rs. 55,000 a year.

Sharing his expectation from this partnership, Mr. Narendranath Damodaran, Executive Director of PRADAN mentioned “Such partnerships across sectors, like with RBL Bank Ltd., not only create trust-worthy and collaborative models among multi-sectoral partners but also help in establishing innovative and long-lasting frameworks of mass scale poverty alleviation programs meant to serve large populations, beyond specific project geographies.”

Sharing this expectation Ms. Shanta Vallury Gandhi, Head - HR, CSR & Internal Branding, RBL Bank Ltd., said that “the Bank in line with its strategy and mission is extremely supportive of sustainable livelihoods with special focus on supporting women as well as women entrepreneurs. This partnership with PRADAN, enables RBL Bank to reach the marginalised population of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal to create sustainability especially during Covid times and beyond.”