- e-Choupal Ecosystem
- Afforestation Programme
- Watershed Management
- Sustainable Agriculture
- Livestock Development
- Women Empowerment
- Primary Education
- Skilling & Vocational Training
- Health & Sanitation
- Solid Waste Management
Many Indian farmers own degraded lands unsuitable for growing crops. For small farmers, this is creates an extremely difficult situation as they are barely able to earn enough to get by, let alone make the investments necessary to grow crops successfully and so remain locked in poverty and debt.
ITC's Afforestation Programme assists farmers to turn their unproductive land assets into profitable pulpwood plantations, using clonal saplings specially developed by ITC R&D to grow in harsh conditions. Social Forestry is for impoverished farmers who are motivated to form Forestry Groups through which they get loans, subsidised clonal stock as well as technical support and training. There is a particular focus on Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste households - who are generally among India's most economically and socially marginalised groups. Farm Forestry is for better-off farmers who can invest in growing pulpwood plantations.
The Programme brings multiple benefits to multiple stakeholders. Plantation incomes are significantly higher, especially beneficial for poor farmers, helping them to step away from penury and deprivation. For Indian paper producers, the plantations create a raw material source that is local, renewable and responsible. They also contribute to expanding the country's green cover thereby enabling large scale sequestration of carbon dioxide, enriching depleted soils and replenishing groundwater.
Primary Beneficiaries, Key Decision-makers, Financial Contributors, Small & Marginal Farmers / Scheduled Caste & Tribe Households
Project Implementation, Domain Expertise, Local Experience
Research & Best Practices, Appropriate Technology
Facilitator, Programme Design, Funding, Monitoring & Evaluation
Target Group: Economically disadvantaged small/marginal farmers who own low productivity lands
Mobilised to form Social Forestry Groups through which they receive comprehensive assistance to grow pulpwood plantations - loans, subsidised clonal stock, training in plantation management practices, etc.
Loans repaid to Group after first harvest to create corpus fund used to finance further plantation activity, develop community assets, emergency loans for Group Members so they do not have to resort to moneylenders, etc.
ITC is a willing buyer of pulpwood at prevailing market rates but plantation owners are free to sell to any buyer of their choice.
Agro-forestry = Food/cash inter-crops + pulpwood saplings on same plot of land in specific spacing pattern so as not to affect wood productivity, therefore annual income (inter-crops ) + Lump-sum income every 4 years (pulpwood trees)
Farmers with sufficient finances encouraged to grow pulpwood plantations on low productivity/degraded landholdings for higher earnings and environmental benefits.
All ITC support - financial, technical, training, etc - is provided through the Group as a community institution. As a platform for co-operative action, the Group also enables poor farmers to pool resources for better advantage, e.g. buying quality inputs at bulk rates, hiring land clearing equipment, etc
Productivity: 3-6 times higher
Survival Rate: 95% vs. 40-60%
Harvesting Cycle: 3-4 years rather than 7 years