As evolved by BAIF, Wadi is a long-term and multi-component programme.
The core component is development of orchards in family-owned plots of around one acre each, along with plantation of a number of multi-purpose tree species (MPTS) along the boundaries of plots, in such a way that cultivation of foodgrains or vegetables is possible, at least till the fruit trees reach maturity.
This effort constitutes the agro-horti-forestry component of Wadi. Other components of Wadi are logically linked to this core component.
As agro-horti-forestry is developed under Wadi in degraded and under-utilised lands, soil and water conservation in each Wadi plot is necessary. So also water resource development to optimally meet water needs of horticulture trees and crops.
Wadi programmes are usually located in remote areas with little local demand for fruits. It is hence essential to develop facilities and market linkages under the agro-business component, for sale of produce from Wadi plots in raw, semi-processed or processed forms. This also ensures generation of local employment and maximum gains of value-addition to producers.
Assets created under a Wadi programme, and benefits accruing from it, create a platform for exploring allied livelihoods. Both the agro-business and allied livelihood components also meet livelihood needs of many landless families in Wadi project areas.
Together, the above components ensure that the livelihoods-base of participating families is expanded and diversified. After fruit trees mature, there is significant rise in family incomes.
However, higher incomes do not necessarily translate into better quality of life in under-developed tribal areas with poor infrastructure and facilities. Hence, the quality of life component is required for improving health and nutrition status, reducing drudgery experienced by women, and providing them opportunities for advancement.
By design, the Wadi programme is implemented using a participatory approach. People’s organisations play a key role in planning, implementation and marketing.
Investment of time and resources made by the Wadi implementing agency in each of the above components will vary according to local conditions, project priorities, and role of other development agencies. For example, if convergence is possible with an ongoing preventive health programme, the Wadi implementing agency may largely play a facilitative rather than executive role under the quality of life component.
The schedule for roll-out of different Wadi components within a given time-frame can also vary. For example, some quality of life component activities can be undertaken as `entry point’ activities in a new project area, to establish rapport with the community, and meet its pressing needs.
Some components are however inextricably linked. Agro-horti-forestry cannot be successfully developed without soil and water conservation, and water resource development; agro-business has to be initiated before fruit trees reach maturity.