Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development aims to promote livelihood options for rural populations through farm and non-farm-based activities
A major portion of the population residing in the operational area of TCSRD is dependent on income from agriculture and agri-allied activities. Enhance covers mainly the agriculture development and livestock management programme and Uday Foundation. An infrastructure support programme is also being taken up, which helps in livelihood promotion through construction activities.
Low rainfall leading to low availability of water for irrigation, salinity in agricultural land, low land productivity and poor access to government schemes
Low land productivity, use of traditional agricultural methods and undulant land
Low land productivity and use of traditional agricultural methods
Therefore, there was need for a separate approach to agriculture development which resulted in higher production from the available limited resources.
Livestock plays an important role in the economy of farmers. The farmers maintain a mixed farming system which is a combination of crop and livestock, where the output of one enterprise becomes the input of another. Livestock management adds to the income of the farmers by milk production, poultry farming, fish culture, etc.
A large number of farmers in Uttar Pradesh have cows and buffaloes which are a source of milk. The milk is consumed by the families and the surplus is sold in the market. In Uttar Pradesh, TCSRD runs a dairy farming project for improving cattle breeds, which in turn will lead to an increase in milk production. The project has been replicated at Mithapur and West Bengal, but here the focus is on providing healthcare facilities like vaccination and deworming of cattle. In Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, TCSRD is promoting poultry farming for marginalised communities. It is also running a fish culture project in West Bengal, in which almost all the rural households participate.
The major problems identified by TCSRD in dairy farming are poor management of milk production, scarcity of green fodder and poor veterinary services. TCSRD promotes dairy farming in Uttar Pradesh and runs a number of programmes to help enhance milk production.
One of the striking features in West Bengal is the prevalence of household ponds. They are part of everyday life and used for a variety of purposes such as household chores, bathing and fish culture. Therefore, a need was felt to provide households with training in pond management practices to utilise the resource efficiently. Local people, especially women, also expressed a desire to contribute towards household income. Existing ponds therefore presented an opportunity to create a stable source of additional income, cost-effectively and successfully, through ornamental fish cultivation. TCSRD has been engaged in training rural households in and around West Bengal in scientific methods of pond management.
At West Bengal, TCSRD has been engaged in the promotion of poultry farming among scheduled caste families, which are the most marginalised section of the society in Sutahata block. The households are mostly landless or have small plots of land. TCSRD introduced a small-size poultry farming system which could be carried out in small plots. Poultry farming has helped in generating income and employment opportunities for small farmers including women, and helped in bringing about socio-economic changes vital for rural development and prosperity.