Resources developed under a Wadi programme through agro-horti-forestry, soil and water conservation and water resource development, and benefits accruing from the agro-business component, create a platform for exploring allied livelihoods to further increase incomes of Wadi plot-holders.
The agro-business and allied livelihood components also meet livelihood needs of many landless families in Wadi project areas.
Allied livelihoods become a tool for women’s empowerment: women get an opportunity to become entrepreneurs, take independent decisions, and have their own source of income. Read a related case study.
A programme for improved livestock produce can be closely linked to a Wadi project.
Depending on local environmental and market conditions, several other allied livelihood options can be promoted in Wadi project areas. Typically, the options have the following features:
- They require low capital investment ( usually < Rs 5000).
- The businesses can be run with locally available resources and inputs. Energy need is minimal or zero.
- There is a local market, or an established marketing channel with local footprint for the output.
Notwithstanding the above parameters, allied livelihoods can be highly remunerative. Read a related case study about a nursery.
Allied livelihoods can be promoted among individuals, or groups such as women’s self-help groups.
Support is given from the Wadi project to potential entrepreneurs/groups in four ways:
- training in relevant skills to operate the business, and exposure visits
- infrastructure support
- credit support to meet start-up or working capital needs
- grant support, in terms of cash and/or facilities
Grant support is given in consultation with people’s organisations, and is limited to most needy people such as landless poor, people with disability and women without family support.