CYSD 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 pockets 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 microfinance and 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 CYSD’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, CYSD 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

Key Strategies

Improved access to and sustainable return from Community Resources

CYSD 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; creating a market information system (using technology), market information board, 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

CYSD 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.

Risk minimization through community adaptation and strengthened collective action

In its continual efforts, CYSD has been insisting for adoption of climate change adaptation measures, like the technological innovations – low water consumption in high land areas, water logging resistant in coastal regions and protection and use of food, foraging, medicinal plants and nutritional potential of forest to improve the resilient in the livelihoods systems of the poor and vulnerable. Further, it has been building stronger collective action around natural resources, value chain action which will not only reduce the transaction cost, it will also pave way for shared risk at the community level.

Policy Advocacy for improved livelihoods for poor, more particularly tribal

CYSD 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.

Programme Interventions

Integrated Watershed program is the ST & SC Development Program of Government of Odisha focuses on empowering the tribals and enabling them to enhance their food security round the year. By implementing this program we increase the income of the families and help them to lead a stress free life and reduce migration. The program focuses on restoring the ecological balance by harnessing; conserving and developing degraded natural resources. Conservation of water and checking soil erosion is central in this program and our effort remains in the attainment of economic as well as financial sustainability of dry land and agriculture. The key objectives of the program are :

  • Promote appropriate technologies for efficient and sustainable use of rainwater.
  • Conserve soil and improve the land productivity
  • Regenerate the vegetation cover on denuded wastelands, promote tree based farming systems and sustainable agriculture.
  • Improve Livestock Productivity
  • Bring the underprivileged sections of society in to the mainstream
  • Equip rural communities for sustainable management of the natural resources.
  • Create year round self-employment opportunities within the village.

A strong emphasis is placed on promoting participatory processes, building community institutions, fostering self-reliance, and respecting the indigenous knowledge and values of tribal. The village organizations are capacitated to take up responsibilities for implementing the programme. We target the households which are traditionally left outs, including landless, destitute, disables and those who are unable to be part of the Self Help Groups or other income generating activities.

This development model is replicable to improve the quality of life with sustainable management of natural resources and to reduce the poverty of the rural people.

In Odisha, 22.13% of the population belongs to “Scheduled Tribe” (ST) community whose livelihood mostly depends on forest, agriculture and animal husbandry. However, practice of traditional implementation strategies, absence of sustainable local institutions, infrastructure linkages and end-toned solution in the value chain make their livelihoods vulnerable to various risks.

In this context, the Family based livelihoods development programme (FLD) aims to (1) Enhance the socio-economic status of targeted tribal families 2. Build the capacities of tribal youth and develop enterprises at the village level 3. Empower the ST families for availing benefits under various programmes. 4. Adopt best practices for sustainable livelihoods development.

Strengthening forest and Forest based Livelihoods program strives to improve the quality of forest and enhance the income of the forest dependent communities by (1) Building strong producer collectives around NTFPs and product development through adding value in the supply chain (2) Promoting alternative livelihoods options to increase the income of forest dependent communities while reducing the harvest of forest products and (3) Leveraging resources and building strategic linkages with mainstream development programmes for sustaining the program even beyond the project period.

Strengthening Small Holder Agriculture program aims to enhance livelihood capabilities and functioning of the vulnerable communities, particularly the small, marginal and women farmers through participatory action; training & capacity building and evidence based research & advocacy initiatives. Building climate resilient models, enhancing the productivity of small holders for adequate and nutritious access to food through adoption of sustainable agricultural practices are the focus areas. A number of models have been introduced like Community farming, kitchen garden, and farm pond, land development, horticulture.

The program also focuses on (1) Increased access of small holders especially women farmers to mainstream development programmes. (2) increased resilience and improved incomes of small holders through viable and sustainable production systems and (3) enhanced access to public investment by small holders especially among the women farmers. Ensuring decentralized planning process and raising awareness of the community regarding the various mainstream development programmes and also the step by step process to access the same is an important agenda of the programme.

Efforts are made for propagating organic and traditional farm practices for making agriculture sustainable. It also builds the capacities of the community members to enhance their participation in the preparation of village agriculture plan and also make the governance system more accountable in the implementation of the same. Emphasis is laid on enhancing the access and control of women farmers over productive assets, particularly land under various schemes. At the policy level, effort is made for increased targeting of the smallholders and women farmers under various schemes.

A: ACABC Training for Agriculture Youth Graduates

CYSD is the Nodal Training Institute in Odisha for taking up Agri-Clinic and Agri-Business Centre (ACABC) scheme, in collaboration with MANAGE, Hyderabad, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India.  The objective of ACABC Scheme is to improve the agriculture extension services to the farmers by promoting agri-entrepreneurs.

Agriculture graduate youths from different districts of Odisha with diverse areas of interest in entrepreneurship have been provided 60 days of residential training and hand-holding support, for business development planning and for linkage with financial institutions, to set up their agri-enterprises. As a result, most of the trainees have started their own ventures like plant protection and farm equipment units, soil testing labs, tissue culture labs, in-land fisheries, mushroom farms and dairy farms.

B: Economic Security and Financial Inclusion

CYSD in its efforts tries to promote community managed micro finance system that enable women (18-24 years) to start the micro enterprise and financial inclusion. Further, it  promotes job-oriented vocational training for vulnerable excluded young men and women in the age group (18-24 years) to access decent employment.

C: Skills for Life: Retail Training for Urban Unemployed Youth

CYSD intends to provide skill training to these disadvantaged urban youths to make them employable and earn their livelihoods. The skill training with help them better equipped to take up the upcoming job opportunities in the retail houses. This initiative will address the demand supply gap in retail sector.

       Strategic Intervention

  • To train disadvantaged urban youth in employable skills as retail associate.
  • To ensure employment and post-employment retention of at least 70% candidates
  • To build a strong networking with the retail-outlets / employers and ensure addressing their workforce demand by skilling youth accordingly.
  • To provide tailor-made and need-based programmes such as language and communication skills, life and positive thinking skills, personality development skills, management skills, behavioural skills.

D: Entrepreneurship Development Programme

 Entrepreneurship is one of the core areas being promoted by CYSD to enhance the income of the people. NTFP as well as non-farm based enterprise are taken up by the community members. Non-farm based enterprise include goatery, duckery, blacksmithy, vegetable vending, grocery shop, teashop, mushroom farming, incense stick making, liquid soap preparation, etc. In order to make producers to realise the commercial value of their produce CYSD developed and adopted a comprehensive system of marketing at the village level called as “aggregate marketing model”, which help participation of the marginalized in the marketing effort like aggregate to achieve scale, participate in value addition and engage with markets as an equal participant, but it involves producers in value chain development.

E: Vocational Skills Training

CYSD has been persistently making its efforts for vocational skill development of rural and tribal youth (women and men) like, computer education training, four-wheeler driving,  tailoring, embroidery, electrical repairing.

Innovations

Promotion of Community Based Institutions

Community based institutions form the base for promoting livelihood interventions. The basic community level organizations at the village level are the Self Help Groups, producer groups and the Village

Capacity Building of Community Based Institutions

CYSD takes up capacity building of community based organizations to enable and empower them to take up responsibilities for implementing the programmes.Training on different themes such as gender sensitization, leadership.

Sustainable Agriculture

Agriculture being one of the primary sources of livelihoods of the tribals, effort is being taken by the organization to improve the agricultural practices resulting in increase in productivity of crops and thereby ensuring year-round food security and enhanced income.

Natural Resource Management

In order to enhance the livelihoods of the community members in a sustained manner, it is not only necessary that they are capacitated on improved agricultural practices but preservation, management and regeneration of natural resources including land

Employment Generation

The land development work, which is done in convergence with MGNREGS, not only generates employment for the people but also creates sustainable productive assets for the people like farm pond, cultivable land.

Collective Marketing/ Enterprise Promotion

Entrepreneurship is also one of the core areas being promoted by the organization to enhance the income of the people. NTFP as well as non-farm based enterprise are taken up by the community members.

Micro Irrigation and Drought Proofing Models

CYSD has been promoting micro irrigation and drought proofing models for ground water recharge for bringing additional areas under cultivation through irrigation and growing two crops in a year on the same patch of land.