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The 'Securing Tribal Livelihoods in Orissa' project targets some of India's most disadvantaged people: tribal groups in Rayagada and Gajapati districts of Orissa. These tribes experience chronic poverty perpetuated by adverse climatic events such as cyclones and droughts. Food shortages, malnutrition, ill health, illiteracy, absence of alternative livelihood options and poor connectivity are characteristics of the 12 Gram Panchayats (village clusters) covered by this project. The villagers have limited knowledge of climate change adaptation, sustainable land and forest use, or new agricultural techniques.
The project is funded by BIG Lottery UK will be delivered by LEAD International in partnership with LEAD India. It aims to improve food security for 3,000 households (approximately 15,000 people) including women and people with disabilities in the Rayagada and Gajapati districts of Orissa by December 2015. The project will focus particularly on building the capacity of farmers' groups and establishing information centres in each district where thousands of people can learn new skills in irrigation, seeding and increasing crop yields. Families who own farming land but live below the poverty line will be trained in good agricultural practices while those with none will be given greater access to financial services and alternative livelihoods. Small enterprise cooperatives will also be set up for a range of producer groups such as those working in mushroom cultivation, and beekeeping.
As a result of this project, it is expected that: