WADI-TRIBAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
The “Wadi” model of tribal development is a holistic approach addressing production, processing and marketing of the produce and also other needs. The core of the programme is “Wadi” and other development interventions built around it. The “Wadi” in Gujarati means a ‘small orchard’ covering one acre. The “Wadi” maybe of mango, cashew, litchi or any fruit crop suitable to that area or a combination of these crops, with forestry species on the periphery of the land holding. Two or more fruit crops are selected in the Wadi model to minimize climatic, biological and marketing risks. Wadi programme is introduced as the strategy to improve horticulture development.
Tribal families having less than 5 acres of title deed land are given one acre Wadi each for raising 60-75 fruit plants suitable to that area and 200-300 forestry plants on the boundary. The project aims at income generation for the landless and over 1100 tribal families to benefit from it.
The Wadi project also aims at utilization of border of the orchard by plantations with different forest species to meet the timber fodder and firewood needs of the family. Agragamee, in association with NABARD, supplies the inputs to the beneficiaries, ie, fruit grafts, neem cakes for natural pesticides, trychoderma, azetobactor, etc. Inter cropping is taken up in the Wadi area for select vegetables and pulses like brinjal, tomato, chilly, cow pea, and pumpkin. A committee of representatives of farmers, Udyan Vikas Samiti, is trained to to facilitate the linkages.
Salient development interventions in the Wadi area include:
- Soil conservation
- Water resource development
- Agriculture development
- Women’s empowerment
- Health interventions
Convergence is also an integral part of the Wadi programme through three major schemes- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, National Horticultural Mission and National Rural Health Mission are explored. Also departmental wise schemes related to irrigation facilities, drinking water facilities, land development, fencing, etc can be explored further.
The advantages of the Wadi programme can be stated as follows :
- Sustainable income from orchard every year.
- Till plants start fruiting, inter cropping can provide earlier return to family.
- Due to assured irrigation farmer can cultivate 2-3 crops a year.
- Intensive agronomical practices which can produce more yield and more income to the family.
- Cost of production can be reduced.
- Collective marketing and processing of all produce due to more quantity available for sale.