This intervention is implemented in 3 project locations. A combination of activities is often used in these project locations.

Project Location


Bankura, West Bengal

·         Farming based Livelihood

·         Asset Creation and Employment Guarantee

·         Mushroom Cultivation and Marketing

·         Animal Husbandry

Bishnupur, West Bengal

·         Farming based livelihood

·         Mushroom cultivation and Marketing


Dantewada, Chatisgarh

·         Farming based livelihood

·         Non farming based livelihood


In Bankura district of West Bengal, Shamayita Krishi Kendra  (SKK) was  established  in 2005-06  to work  towards  socio-economic stability  of  the  rural  people  through  promotion  of  sustainable livelihood.

In 2011-12, it has worked with 6,338 farmers spread over  69  villages  in  7  Blocks  of  Bankura  district.  Syngenta Foundation  India had been  the major partner providing  technical and  financial  support  thereby helping Shamayita Math  in meeting the objectives and  fulfilling  the dreams of SKK.

Activities  to meet  the objectives:

I.                    Ensuring  food  security  through  paddy  productivity enhancement - Techniques used: Seed replacement, quality seed distribution, promotion of SRI  technology,  line  sowing and Hybrid paddy.  In  the current year 199.39 MT of paddy seed was made available to farmers of  the project area.

II.                 Income generation  through  commercial  vegetable  cultivation. This  was  achieved  through  quality  seed  and  seedling  supply  to  farmers  selected for this activity, promoting field level low-cost nursery, hand holding support  for  nursery  and  disease  pest management,  market  linkage  for produces,  linkage of  farmers with Pepsico  for  contract  farming of potato.

III.                Formation  of  growers  groups  for  collective  production  and  collective marketing. This was achieved by crop planning, preparation of harvest calendar with the farmers, hand holding and orientation, credit linkage through nationalized banks, crop insurance, establishment of collection centre and arranging the necessary  logistic arrangement.

IV.                Crop  diversification  matching  with  socio-economic  condition,  land profile,  climatic conditions and available  resources. This was achieved through promotion of pulses, oil seeds and other cereals, ensuring quality seeds, relevant trial and demonstration and crop planning with area  specific available  resources.

a.       41 farmers  in  19  villages  intercropped Maize  crop with Black Gram in Kharif season of FY 2011-12.

b.      In 29 Villages  64  farmers  cultivated  Lentil,  Lathyrus  and oilseeds  by  Poira  method  in  20.39  acres.  This  was undertaken with  the support  of  Dryland  Research Station, Bankura.

c.       Lathyrus(variety Nirmal) was cultivated by 91 farmers from 6 villages on 26.66 acres of land. This was under GRASSPEA  PROJECT  (DAC-ICARDA-ICAR)

d.      289 farmers from 28 villages cultivated Lentil (variety - B-77  (Asha),WBL- 58(Subrata), on67.7  acres of  land.

V.                  Soil testing facilities for soil health analysis, nutrient content at macro and  micro  level  (Cu, Mn, Zn, Fe), electrical conductivity, pH and  recommendation  for organic &  inorganic nutrient application. In  the period  June 2011-March, 2012, 314  samples were  tested  for  their p , EC, organic carbon, potassium and phosphate content. 222  samples were  tested  for determining  the amount of micro-nutrients- Cu, Mn, Zn and Fe.

VI.                Seed  testing before  sowing  to observe proper germination.

Alternative livelihood generation by contract farming and seed production.

This  includes  the  following activities.

·         Seed production of paddy and other  crops.

·         Vegetable  seed production  (Open Pollinated)

·         Potato  cultivation under Pepsico. 

·         Seed production of hybrid maize and other  field crops  like pulses, oil seeds,  cereals.

·         Vegetable  seed production  (hybrid)

The soil & climatic conditions of Bankura has been proved to be suitable for vegetable seed production. In the current project seed production of Hybrid Tomato which was  tried  successfully  by one  farmer  in 2010-11 was promoted among seven new farmers of the locality in the current year . Total area under cultivation was 72,230 sq.  ft  from which 86 kg of  tomato seed was harvested. This has proved  to be quite  remunerative alternative  income generation.

Bishnupur - Livelihood Activities

In Bishnupur, Empowerment through livelihood included 639 farmers from 21 villages.

i. All the 639 farmers had an enhanced productivity with the varieties MTU-7029, GB-1,IR-36 adopting SRI and line transplanting and varieties of hybrid rice like NK- 5251,  INDAM-200-017 and  INDAM-200-022

II. Income  generation  through  Commercial vegetable  cultivation  undertaken  by  237  farmers covering 30 acres of  land

III. Cultivation  of  Boro  paddy,  wheat,  pulses  and oilseeds in 280.5 acre,12.66 acre, 3.50 acre and 194 acre  respectively.

IV . Market  linkage  of  vegetables:  Ten  farmers  groups  consisting  of  139 farmers have been  formed  in 5 villages  for market  linkage. The vegetables like pointed gourd,  chilly,  cucumber and  bitter  gourd were  taken  up  by farmers on 35 acres of  land.

V . Alternate  livelihood  generation:  This  included  Flower  Cultivation  (52 farmers),  Mushroom  Cultivation(18  farmers),  (Kitchen  Garden)17 farmers) and vegetable seed production(7 farmers).

VI. Contract Farming: Technical  intervention was provided  for potato growers doing contract farming under PepsiCo for quality yield. From June 2011 Shamayita Math entered  into an agreement with PepsiCo  to  render  technical guidance  to  200  farmers  from  21  villages  of  Bishnupur  area belonging  to  Prakash  Samabay Krishi Unnayan  Samity  (SKUS)  , a

vendor of PepsiCo.Out of  the 200  farmers of Prakash SKUS 46  farmers  from 14 villages of Bishnupur were involved in other activities like SRI cultivation of paddy, growing of hybrid paddy, cultivation of hybrid  vegetables.

VII. 7  farmers  from  Ramnagar  village  had  supplementary income  through  vegetable  seed  production  (open pollinated). This was a new effort in which 2 quintal of bitter gourd seed was produced on 4 bigha of  land  from 750 gm of seed supplied by Devgiri Seeds. The seeds produced was bought back by Devgiri Seed Company at the  rate of Rs 350 per kg, hence Rs 70,000/- was earned from 4 bigha of land.   Also 80 quintal vegetable was produced,  which  fetched  a  market    price  of  Rs


Chattisgarh - Livelihood Activities

Adequate food security for the farnmers here was proviuded through improved paddy cultivation that included-

Training  and  Demonstration  on  paddy  and  vegetable cultivation  for improvement  in present practice Scientific/T echnical  interventions  in  terms  of  introduction  of certified paddy  seeds,  selection of  season  specific  crop  and vegetables,  selection of  the  right variety of  crop and vegetables.

Support  in  terms of  inputs  like fertilizers and  insecticides

Demonstration  and  training  of farmers

Total number of beneficiaries  for paddy  cultivation  - 105

Total  land under  improved paddy  - 62.50 acres

Total quantity of paddy  seeds distributed  - 30.08 quintal

Total  income  from paddy  cultivation  Rs. 9,18,000

Income generation through cultivation and marketing of  vegetables

Vegetable cultivation was very  less prevalent among  the  tribal farmers due  to which  the  land used  to  lay barren after  the harvest of paddy.  Introduction of  quality vegetable cultivation round  the year in the home stead land and facilitation of irrigation through construction of water harvesting structures and lifting of water from rivers through pumps and distribution through pipe lines have been an additional yet substantial source of income for the otherwise  idle  farmers.

Vegetable Cultivation

  • Total number of  farmers/SHG groups  involved in Vegetable Cultivation  - 135
  • No of  farmers  involved  individually  - 8
  • Total  land  for  cultivation of  vegetable  18.1 acres
  • Total earned  income  till March 2012  - Rs 2,57,000
  • Five numbers of Farmer's group and  two numbers of Farmers' Club have formed which have been  linked with Chhattisgarh Gramin Bank.

Maize Cultivation

  • Total number of beneficiaries  for maize  cultivation  -  57
  • Total  land  for  cultivation of maize  -  19 acres
  • Total quantity of maize  (hybrid + normal)  seeds given  -  100kg
  • Total production  -   235  quintal
  • Total  income  from maize  cultivation  -  Rs. 2,58,000


Irrigation Support provided:

  • Construction of well  (8), pond  (6), debri  (3), water  storage &  feeder tank (12)
  • Trenching and  laying of underground PVC  pipeline  (10282  m)
  • Construction of pump house  (10) and pump  installation  (16) 


To  empower  the  tribal women  attempts  have  been made  to  improve  the traditional  skills  through  training  and  formation  of  self  help  groups.  The interventions  can be  summarized as  follows:

  • Training is provided to enterprising tribal women on tailoring which has  been  accepted  and  adopted.  The  trained  women  have mastered  the  skill,  established  linkage  with Chattisgarh Gramin Bank  and  are  earning  about  Rs.  1200  to  Rs.  1500  per month through  stitching dresses, Nylon handbag and  school dress.
  • Collective collection of Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) like tamarind & mahua
  • Training on preparation of  food  items  like  snacks and market linkage  in  local market,  village  festivals and  fairs after packaging
  • Broom making  and marketing  collective  vegetable  cultivation and marketing of  fresh  vegetables  in  local market


Animal Husbandry

Reducing  mortality  of  domestic  animals  and  ensuring  additional livelihood  through animal  husbandry. Cattle, goat, pig, sheep, poultry birds and duck are an integral part of almost all rural families. But the farmers are rarely used to the habit of availing the services of the Government Animal Health Centre or local veterinary officer . Twenty four animal health camps were held covering 1,135 beneficiaries and treatment  to 4759 animals.

This was achieved through goat farmer groups for proper management, breed improvement and better price. Vaccination camps were organized to get rid of epidemic and endemic diseases. Cross breed piggery was promoted among tribal beneficiaries and  village  level  field guide were given handholding  support.

Achievement in Animal Husbandry

·         Mortality of  cattle due  to FMD & HSBQ  reduced by 90 percent

·         Reducing mortality of goat by 90% in kids by de-worming. No mortality due to PPR

·         Enhanced body weight and  improved quality of hide

·         Mortality of new born  reduced  to 10% as against earlier record of 60%

Asset Creation and Employment Guarantee Program

In 2011-12, Shamayita Math  started  facilitating  implementation of Govt.  flagship program (MGNREGA)  in  the villages under  Lachmanpur  Gram  Panchayet  on  holistic  developmental approach  like  Integrated Natural  Resource Management  for creating assets along with wage employment generation. This initiative was undertaken by Shamayita Math  in collaboration with  PRADAN  to  impact  lives  of  poor ,  small  and  marginal farmers and to strengthen the community institutions in taking responsibilities  for  their  own  development  for  bringing sustainable  changes. The work was undertaken  in  following  steps:

·         Organizing  village demands  for asset  creation and  linking them withMGNREGA  in  Lachhmanpur GP  comprising of 8  revenue villages.

·         Building  skill  through  exposure  visits,  training  program  to beneficiaries and persons  from Gram Panchayat and Block  level.

·         Individual household  level planning  for  livelihood development at  family level.

·         Total 46  families have been covered and 99 developmental plans have been  sanctioned

Women Empowerment through Livelihood Enhancement Opportunities

Women bear almost all family responsibility yet are systematically denied the resources,  information and  freedom of action  to  fulfill  the responsibility.   In rural areas, women  are  generally  not  perceived  to  have  any meaningful  income generation capacity and hence they are relegated mainly to household duties and cheap labour . Without the power to earn a good income, their voices are silenced. With  this as  the  focus, Shamayita Math has organized  rural women  into Self Help Groups and provided  them with  the  scope of alternate  income or supplementary  income even after maintaining  the  family  responsibilities. During the year 2011-12 Shamayita Math has helped in nurturing 64 women self help groups  and  helped  in  linking  them  with  alternate  livelihood  development activities.

Mushroom  Cultivation:  88  rural  families  are  involved  in mushroom cultivation. Activity cluster have been formed through clustering of SHGs and entrepreneurs have been developed  in village level who take the responsibility of marketing the produce. It was a new  initiative and needed  lot of motivation and community mobilization  to develop business attitude among  the  rural women.  Market  for mushroom  was  established  in  local  areas,  student hostels, office complex in Bankura, urban markets of Durgapur , Asansol and  retail  institutions  like Big Bazar.

Goat  Farming: Goat  rearing  is  a  traditional  skill  of  rural  women.  If  goat farming  is  carried  on modern  and  scientific  technique  it  can  earn  a  good supplementary income to contribute to household and national food security. 199  families  belonging  to  SHGs are  involved  in  goat  rearing.  The  services involved  the  following:

·         Regular  vaccination  and  de-worming  of  goats.  Total  878  animals were treated  to  impact 111  farmers.

·         Promotion of  low  cost goat  shed  for  the animal.

·         Training on goat  rearing practices and basic  treatment  to  the  leaders of SHGs  involved  in goat  rearing.

For breed improvement 18 pure breed bucks were provided in 18 villages which added  to about 1,300 healthy kids. The  right dose  in PPR  vaccine resulted  in  reduction of mortality by 90%,   regular de-worming  led  to  increase in body weight by 50% thereby enhancing the value of goat by Rs 500 to Rs 600 per  year . The SHG women now are also aware of market  rate.

Puffed  rice making  (Muri):  Two women  SHGs  namely  Sabuj Sangha Women  SHG  and Matangini Women  SHG  of  village Amdanga  started  small business  enterprises with production of puffed  rice  (muri). 14 women belonging  to 2 SHGs are engaged  in this activity which adds supplementary income to the families. Two low cost, domestic scale, puffed  rice making machine designed by IIT Kharagpur have been  installed.   Training and exposure has been  provided  to  beneficiaries  on  handling  and  use  of  the machine. Handholding support has been provided in production, packaging  and marketing  through  regular meetings. This activity  is being funded by Lafarge  India Pvt.  Ltd.  through  its CSR  scheme.

Skill Development Programs

At the RUDSETI at Shamayita Math (setup and run in collaboration with UBI and NABARD) entrepreneurship programs are run regularly for rural youth.

This  year was  its  third  year  since inception. It has propelled self employment through skill training among 1015  rural youth of Bankura.

In Financial Year 2011-12, 367 youth were trained on different trades through support of RUDSETI out of which 58% were women. Through  the support of District Rural Development Cell (DRDC), 88 women belonging to  Self  Help  Groups  from  different  blocks  of  Bankura  were imparted  entrepreneurship  development  training  to  enhance cottage enterprises  through bank  linkage. Through DRDC 65 women  received  training  in  goat  farming  and  18  women received training on poultry enterprise all of whom have been carrying on animal husbandry successfully with lesser mortality and  better  growth  of  domestic  animals  and  birds. With  the support  of  District  Industrial  Centre  (DIC)  of  Bankura,  skill development training was imparted to 125 trainees in different trades. With  financial support  from Employment Exchange under Ministry of Labour , awareness program on self employment wasconducted with 151 trainees. Through internal funds residential orientation cum motivation  training was given  to 136 women from Self Help Groups  formed and nurtured by Shamayita Math.