Social Sector Investments:
Mission Sunehra Kal
Nearly 700 million people living in rural India, with low adaptive capacities, have a direct and symbiotic dependence on climate sensitive natural resources (such as water, bio-diversity, mangroves, coastal zones, grasslands) for their subsistence and livelihoods. Limited options of alternative off-farm employment, combined with endemic poverty continue to imperil the livelihood security of millions of small and marginal farmers, mainly in rain-fed agricultural regions. The production regime in rain-fed agriculture is inherently fragile and is now getting aggravated due to the impact of climate change, leading to an increase in the frequency and intensity of droughts and floods. Climate change can severely impact the rural economy in more ways than one including a potential threat to food security for the most vulnerable sections.
Mitigating Climate Change Impact through Diversification of Farming Systems
ITC’s engagement in the social sector since 2000 has addressed these major challenges through interventions on two simultaneous fronts:
Diversifying Farming Systems, as a strategy for climate change mitigation by broad-basing the farm-based livelihoods portfolio of the poor. Initiatives have been spearheaded in five major areas: e-Choupal, wasteland development, soil and moisture conservation, value-added crop rotation and animal husbandry programme.
Expanding Off-farm Income Opportunities, to reduce the disproportionate dependence of rural households on land for supporting livelihoods with the help of two initiatives: economic empowerment of women and community development.
Coverage: Projects implemented during 2009-10 stood at 66, spread across 51 districts of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Together, these programmes reach out to more than 2.20 lakh households and over 1.20 million individuals who are directly benefited by the various interventions spread over 3787 villages.