The Trusts have prioritised issues related to the upliftment of marginalised and poor communities in rural India for almost a century, supporting programmes targeted at bettering quality of life, health and education. To achieve this, projects in the recently remodeled rural upliftment portfolio (RUP) target rural income generation through farm and non-farm activities, water conservation and irrigation systems, fisheries, and the production, post-harvest activities and marketing of produced goods. The development, strengthening and handholding of farmer producer organisations and other such institutions is a major part of this activity. The management of forest resources, primary processing sectors, rural enterprise and business development, diversification and rural tourism are also covered by the programme.
The many years of experience have allowed the Trusts to identify and evolve best practices and learnings which are replicated across issues and regions, adapting to and shaping large initiatives, while integrating projects for larger and more sustainable benefits. A challenge now is adaption to change, including climate-related change. Therefore, the core of the programme remains innovation and the integration of ideas and projects with a focus on sustainability through the development of strong exit policies. A significant change is now being brought about by a relatively new and developing area of focus, the integration of technology into different aspects of projects. From the MKrishi model of crop information dissemination geared towards higher production and the designing of simpler and more efficient machinery, to micro-irrigation systems and the use of solar options in energy, technology is here to stay.
The Trusts RUP programmes, in collaboration with partners from national and international governments, corporate and social sectors, unroll across the country through a network of producer organisations that form the core of the portfolio. Institution building, finance and risk mitigation therefore form the crucial backbone of the programme.
Punjab was the leading state in North India to harness the benefits of the Green Revolution. But with time, technologies such as high-yielding seeds, chemical fertilisers, pesticides and farm mechanisation lead to exploitation of natural resources - particularly ground water, deterioration in soil fertility, and environmental pollution.
According to a 2012 World Bank report, South Odisha is no better than sub-Saharan Africa when it comes to human development indicators. Infant and maternal mortality, female illiteracy, lack of access to education, sanitation, clean water, basic healthcare facilities, etc., are some of the factors that contribute to low quality of life in South Odisha.
The economy of the northeastern states is mainly based on subsistence agriculture and a system of shifting cultivation called jhum. Rampant and unchecked practice of jhum has put pressure on the fragile ecosystem and resulted in food scarcity; coupled with other problems, this has affected the quality of life in the region.
Underdevelopment, poor infrastructure and limited natural resources place Eastern Uttar Pradesh low on the development index. The predominantly rural population depends on agriculture for subsistence, but erratic irrigation due to alternating floods and droughts, and exploitative market systems make agriculture a low-profitable venture. Oppressive social systems add to the factors that have stymied development in the region.Explore
The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) was developed in Madagascar in the 1980s and has since been tried out successfully in many countries across the world. SRI involves transplanting young single seedlings wide apart instead of the conventional method of transplanting multiple mature seedlings close together.Explore