Brief About Indo-German Development Cooperation Project, Tripura

The Project entitled ‘Participatory Natural Resource Management in Tripura (PNRMT)’ was incepted in 2009 with the objective to improve the natural resource conditions, and support enhanced livelihood of the forest dependent communities. The project aims at socio-economic development of tribal shifting cultivators, rural poor and conservation of natural resources in the state. The Project, as a part of the Indo-German Bilateral Cooperation (IGDC), is being jointly funded and implemented by KfW (German Development Bank) and Govt. of Tripura (GoT). The total German grant stands at EUR 12.00 Million, while GoT has a committed expenditure of about INR 12.30 Cr. The IGDC Project is being implemented in 70 villages spread across 11 development Blocks under the Dhalai and North Tripura Districts.

The Project was initially incepted for six-years (Feb 2009 – Dec 2014). However, with a strong desire expressed by both KfW and GoT to extend the project to leverage and replicate the notable gains made by the Project within a noticeably short time, the Project has since been extended for two more years, i.e., until March 2017.

In its 7th year, the Project has achieved significant success in its objective. Some of the successful experiences under the project are:

  • Intensively participatory holistic and inclusive village development planning and mainstreaming it with Block and District level planning process.
  • Formation of robust, decentralized and democratic village level institutions (70 Village Development Planning and Implementation Committees) and their empowerment by providing them administrative, decision making, monitoring & evaluation, financial and operational autonomy.
  • Sustainable development and utilization of lands allotted under Forest Rights (RoFR) Act, 2006 through establishing three-storey mixed Agri-horti-forestry crops and commercial captive plantation models of Bamboo, Turmeric, Ginger, etc.
  • Development of alternative livelihood opportunities through building skill and capacity of rural educated youths on various vocational service sectors based trades such as mobile phone repairing, motor driving, electronic gadget repairing, solar panel repairing, establishment of Decentralized People’s Nursery and high-tech Quality Planting Material nursery, pig farming, goat rearing, Integrated fish farming, handloom and handicrafts, etc.
  • Institutionalization and successful operation of village level Revolving Fund (RF) with a focus on small scale business development by the villagers.
  • Cluster approach for production and value addition of bio-resources by Self Help Group federations /cooperatives. Promoting Business Plans as sustained economic options and link with finances and technical skill upgradation.
  • Establishment of Community Biodiversity Conservation models.
  • Transparency through direct cash transfer, use of GIS & MIS, putting up information in public domain.
  • Skill improvement through Vocational Training followed by technical and financial support.
  • Fund Convergence by way of contributions from existing State and Central Schemes to fund a proportion of costs of a Village Development Plan to ensure the longer-term sustainability of the overall Project.
  • Traditional Knowledge Management through innovative approaches, diversification of livelihood opportunities, and use of advanced technologies.
  • At least 10% mandatory contributions from the beneficiaries for imbibing feeling of ownership towards the undertaken Project activities.

These models have been developed in close collaboration and with active participation of the villagers. In fact, most models were developed with initiative and adequate inputs from the villagers themselves. The acceptability, sustainability, and economic and ecological viability of these models have been proven and demonstrated in several villages by a large number of individuals, SHGs, Village Development Planning and Implementation Committees, Joint Liability Groups, Common Interest Groups, and Revolving Fund Management Committees. Considering the success and appreciation by the people, it was felt that these models have potential to upscale and replicate not only in the whole state of Tripura but also in the entire Himalayan Region. While developing these models, climate change adaptability, gender equality, equitability, and sustainability aspects were given due importance. However, as expected, these models have scope to improve and it is necessary to suitably modify for wider adaptation.

OverallImpact of the Project (as per 3rd party assessment):

  • Average per capita income enhanced by INR 10495/- through various project-promoted land-based activities (only from selling of Agricultural crops viz., turmeric, zinger, chilly etc.) vis-a-vis Baseline.
  • Average per capita income enhanced by INR 12245/- through various project promoted non land-based activities (Piggery, Goat rearing etc) vis-a-vis Baseline

Major Interventional Achievements:

• The project has constituted 70 Village Development Planning and Implementation Committees (VDPIC) in its 70 project villages, which are democratic, dedicated and decentralized institutions at village level. VDPICs are responsible for overall planning and implementation of the project activities and are also the recipient of funds directly from PMA to carry out various activities.

• Village Development Plan (VDP) exercise was completed in all 70 project villages by 2011. As VDP is a continuous process, and ground situations and need of the villagers are dynamic in nature, yearly revisiting of VDPs are being done through Village-level General Body meetings. Efforts were made by the project officials through VDPIC meetings to continue the process of updating the plan after the project period.

• Till date, a total of 1355 training programmes including exposure visit were conducted through which 34668 participants were benefitted. Through these trainings 16280 patta holders were benefitted.

• A total of 264 training programmes with 3120 villagers on types of vocational trainings / trades (Tailoring, Handloom / Weaving, Motor Driving, Basic computer learning etc.) have been completed. After completion of the trainings, these trainees were graded based on their performance during the training. These successful trainees are now provided material support to initiate IGAs. Till date, a total of 878 such successful vocational trainees have been provided with tools & equipments. Three advance residential training was imparted to 24 villagers of Candle making, 40 villagers on Bamboo made toys, laps, basket making - twice. Advance training on Tailoring, Candle making and Handloom were also imparted to 265 villagers

• Out of 3120 VT trainees (including 60 trainees trained in Agarbatti stick making and rolling), 1767 have successfully started their ventures at group or individual level. These villagers are now earning in a range of INR 3,000 (tailoring) to INR 14,000 (Carpentry)/month. Besides, 315 villagers trained in Motor Driving have chosen it as their livelihood and earning in a range of INR 3500- INR 7500/month.

• After providing Livelihood Trainings to 10,585 project beneficiaries in first round (on Piggery, Fishery, Goat rearing, Nursery creation, Agarbatti stick making, Mushroom farming etc.), selected ones (who have initiated IGA after 1st round training) have been chosen for a refresher, 2nd round of Livelihood Training. Till date, 288 refresher livelihood training programmes with 7421 participants have been organized.

• The Project has screened selected beneficiaries who have successfully initiated IGAs after 1st round / refresher training to undergo Advance and Refresher trainings on both Livelihood (Animal Husbandry based and Fishery) and Vocational trades. Till date, 9 Advance Livelihood trainings covering 155 villagers and two advance vocational training 64 villagers have been conducted.

• For strengthening and empowering the VDPICs and SHGs, two rounds of Management & Accounting trainings have been conducted for both VDPICs and SHGs. Through this 5,890 VDPIC and SHG members were capacitated. Besides this, the Project has taken initiative to enhance their participatory planning & monitoring skills through village level PRA exercise.

• Till date, a total of 9162.91 ha plantation (Hill Slope/Top: 95%) were completed. Through these plantations, at least 15050 villagers have been benefitted. Out of this 9162.91 ha, 8360.91 ha plantation was raised on patta land covering 13011 patta holders. From 2012-13 onwards, all the project plantation are being undertaken in the RoFR allotted land and funds are being disbursed to Beneficiary’s Bank A/c by the respective VDPIC. Estimated average annual income from mixed plantation: INR 90,000/patta holder .

• Till date a total of 5970.17 ha old plantation were brought under Consolidation (re-stocking, creation of SMC measures viz. creating Half-moon terracing etc.) covering 9004 patta holders

• Till date, a total of 70 Biodiversity Management Committees (one per project village) have been formed. Documentations of People’s Biodiversity Register have been completed in 70 Project villages.

• A total of 1,462 Villagers from 104 SHGs and VDPIC groups were involved in project established Decentralized People’s Nurseries and Quality Planting Material nurseries which has proved to be a sustainable IGA for them. Average yearly income from these stands at about INR 6900/person.

• Infrastructures for Quality Planting Material (QPM) in 14 villages were developed. Water pump, water tank, tools, store room, generator etc. permanent assets/infrastructure were created in each QPM nursery. Besides, 5 of these QPMs were turned into Hi-tech Nurseries (construction of poly houses, installation of sprinkler and fogger etc.). A total of 122 villagers belonging to 13 SHGs/CIGs (Common Interest Group) were involved in these QPMs for their livelihood. A total of 59 beneficiaries were trained at HRC, Nagichera. The groups involved in these nurseries are being top-up their per year income by INR 8000 to 11000.

• Till date, 810 check dams and 21 Rainwater harvesting tanks were constructed covering 256 ha of water area where 4784 villagers from 255 SHGs and 69 Villagers Group are involved for fishery activity. Average income of these groups from fishery activity are now stands at INR 72,000.

• As a part of the consolidation of the check dams, catchment area plantations were undertaken during 2014-15. In order to ensure long- term sustainability of the CDs, it has been decided to undertake two-pronged consolidation measure for the catchment areas of the check dams to save them from silting. In order to ensure physical stability of the CDs, both physical soil conservation measures e.g. half-moon terracing, and biological measures e.g. planting soil-binding species like Bamboo in the micro- catchment area are being undertaken. Till date, a total of 68.28 ha catchment area plantation with intercropping of high yielding banana and bamboo was undertaken. These plantations would protect the catchment of 172 check dams. At least 2016 beneficiaries belonging to 111 SHGs and Villagers group will be benefited from the yield of these plantations

• Till date, 10 Pig-cum-Pisciculture models and 3 Duck-cum-Pisciculture models were developed. A total of 137 beneficiaries belonging to 8 SHGs and 3 Villager Groups are benefited from this integrated fish farming models. Estimated income (after first cycle): INR 32,000/HH/year.

• Besides integrated fish farming, intensive support was also provided to 29 SHGs/Villagers Group to manage 52 Check dams for commercial fish farming. At least 426 villagers were benefitted through these commercial fish farming models.

• To meet the need of bio-compost in Project established QPNs, mixed plantations, Captive Bamboo Plantations and also for sale in open market, a total of 93 villagers were provided EM kits. Estimated income: INR 10000/ month/HH

• Till date, 460 SHGs with 5064 members (1974 Female and 3090 Male members) were constituted. A total of 172 SHGs have been linked with SGSY Scheme. A total of 5064 SHG (460 SHGs) members were assisted through seed money for diversifying activities like piggery, goat rearing, fishery, poultry farming, duck rearing, nursery, broom making, mushroom, cattle farming, turmeric-ginger plantation grocery shop. The SHG members have been raised there HH income by INR 11,145/year through these MSEs.

• Sixty Household Groups other than SHGs were constituted for undertaking IGAs in 41 villages. In total, 3075 HHs were covered under these informal groups who undertook diverse IGAs such as Poultry (Croyler), Goat rearing, Piggery, Decoration-cum-tent house, Rice mill, Duckery, Egg layering, Ginger and Turmeric plantation, Generator rentals, Sewing machines, Computer institutes.

• As part of the enterprise/cluster development, various product-based clusters are being established. E.g. Turmeric cluster involving 150 villagers at Damcherra RD Block, Fish cluster in collaboration with ICR involving 16 villagers at Dumburnagar RD Block, Fishery cluster at East Satnala ADC village involving 26 villagers, Agarbatti clusters in collaboration with TBM involving 60 villagers in 3 villages under Ambassa & Salema RD Block, Mushroom cluster involving 160 villagers from 14 SHGs at Salema & Durga Chowmuhani RD Block, Rice mill at Gurudhan para ADC village, A cluster involving the banana growers from 118 villages in 4 blocks [Khakchang, Dasamoni para, S. K. Shermun, Kangrai, East Satnala (Dasda RD Block), S. K Para (Manu), Thumsarai para, Piplacherra (Damcherra)], Floriculture unit at S. K. Para ADC Village involving 06 villagers, Handicraft cluster involving 11 villagers at Bagmara ADC Village. A total of 2070kg of fish was harvested at East Satnala Fishery Cluster. The entrepreneurs involved at East Satnala fishery cluster have earned an amount of INR 4.14 lakh in one harvesting cycle. A total of 3184 kg of fish was harvested at Jagat Bandhu para Fishery cluster. The entrepreneurs involved at Jagat Bandhu para fishery cluster earned an amount of INR 6.37 lakh in three harvesting cycles. Groups involved in the mushroom clusters are earning in a range of INR 5000- INR 7000/ month. The cluster members of Thumsarai para turmeric cluster have already harvested 10,500 Kg of raw turmeric market value of which pegged at INR 2.10 lakh. A total of 3721 kg rolled Agarbatti sticks has been produced in this centre during the reporting period, which has yielded a profit of INR12,28,504/-. Beneficiaries involved in the cluster are now earning between INR 1400 – INR 4500 per month. The MSE members involved at Gurudhan para Rice mill are now earning INR 5000-7000/month.

• To promote Income Generating Activities (IGAs) for SHGs/Joint Liability Interest Groups/ individuals, the IGDC Project has introduced a Corpus- to be managed as a Revolving Fund facility (RF facility) at the level of VDPIC. As a part of implementation of the RF concept, to built capacity of the VDPICs to manage RF fund, 8 Block level workshop and 5 state level workshops involving 534 representatives from the VDPICs and project officials have already been completed. a total of Rs. 662.30lakh was disbursed to 70 VDPIC as RF. Till date, a total of 1727 BDPs were prepared and approved by VDPICs for which a total of INR 319.37 lakh was disbursed. A total of 1806 villagers were benefited under this component

• Economic impact: The average yearly income of the Project beneficiaries have enhanced by INR 10495/- through project promoted various land-based activities (only from selling of Agricultural crops viz., turmeric, zinger, chilly etc.). The average yearly income of the Project beneficiaries have enhanced by INR 12245/- through project promoted various non land-based activities (Piggery, Goat rearing etc) compare to baseline survey. This is an additional income to their income earned through other interventions as well.