The program is being implemented by NRLM in partnership with implementing partners (PIAs) across the country. Under NRLM, the core agenda of MKSP is to :-
(i) Create sustainable livelihood institutions around agriculture and allied activities
(ii) Create sector-specific geography-specific best package of practices and
(iii) Create a wide pool of community resource persons for scaling up livelihood interventions in the entire country.
Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) provide funding support of up to 75% (90% for North East and hill states) to the project submitted by the State Governments/PIAs under MKSP. Balance is being contributed by the respective state governments or any other donor agencies, national and international.
ASRLMS is implementing MKSP through its PIA “Northeast Development Consortium” (NDC) in select districts of Assam. The Northeast Development Consortium (NDC) is an association of five (5) non-governmental organizations bound together by a MoU. NDC was primarily formed to compound the knowledge and experience base and provide a platform for mutual learning and for bringing about greater efficiency, effectiveness and economies in achieving scale in implementations of projects in the region. All the partner organisations of NDC are also supported by SDTT and the Allied Trusts and as such the organisations already share a common thread and have been interacting and ideation on various issues of Northeast which falls under the preview of SDTT and the Allied Trusts. The consortium (NDC) has a common Secretariat for overall project planning, implementation and monitoring. Centre for Microfinance &Livelihood (CML), the facilitating partner in the consortium will be responsible for the executive functions of the NDC Secretariat. Each of the organizations in the consortium has its own experience and expertise of working with women groups in agriculture based livelihood in the respective project districts. The coming together of these organizations in a consortium is expected to substantially compound the knowledge and experience base and bring about greater efficiency, effectiveness and economies in achieving scale.
NDC under the Project name “Empowering Women in Agriculture” in 7 District of Assam namely Dhemaji, Nalbari, Baksa, Barpeta, Chirang, Bongaigaon and Kamrup (Rural) envisions on empowering 14,000 farmers from a target 1166 women SHGs. The project seeks to build on the consortium’s existing work in the area, leverage the combined strength of over 22 years in promoting rural livelihoods particularly with women and their collectives; building on local knowledge, adapting & introducing efficacious local technologies and create remunerative linkages with markets. It involves comprehensive engagement, support and instituting community based processes across the farm livelihood chain;
• Inputs (improved land and water resources, access to agricultural inputs including generating crop nutrition locally/enhancing soil fertility, seed security)
• On-farm (enhancing productivity, diversifying into cash crops, reducing cost of production);
• Output linkages (community entrepreneurs, economies of scale giving marketable lot-size production, aggregation and market-interface, access to terminal markets);
• Community-owned knowledge resources (Farmer Field School, Women Farmer-thought Leader) and v) focus on building institutions of the poor at the village, cluster and district level. Many of the proposed interventions have been implemented on a demonstrable scale in the area of System of Rice Intensification, home-stead vegetable cultivation; and Diversion Based Irrigation.
The project will be carried out on a cluster basis in the 7 districts spread across the state of Assam. The project with its prime target on women is designed to increase their skill and awareness and strengthen their institutions so that the initiatives sustain in the long run. The project level interventions will demonstrate the possibility of increased income opportunities based on local level resources and efforts. Further, common investments will build capacities for enhanced productivity in agriculture and allied activities and reduce burden on women through adoption of suitable local technologies. The Community Resource Persons (CRPs) and the identified community leaders among them whose capabilities and capacities have been intensively focused are expected to be the drivers of sustainability.
The project has been approved by MoRD for a period of three years (20014-17) with a total budget of Rs 14.3932 crore, Central share (MoRD) is Rs. 12.6861 Crore and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) support of Rs. 1.7271 Crore. The target is to cover 14000 Mahila Kisan in 140 villages across 14 blocks. 10859 farmers have been covered across 14 blocks of Assam through MKSP partnership mode. Community Resource Persons and Para-professionals have also been developed, trained and deployed in respective MKSP rolling out blocks. In FY 2016-17, the project will continue with its planned activities to cover more Mahila Kisans.
MKSP has been upscaled to 5 more districts, amongst sixty three (63) intensive blocks, MKSP in 5 districts with 5 blocks will be intervened under Annual Action Plan mode from this FY 2016-17. Under MKSP umbrella, the project will be implemented with 12500 poorest of poor small and marginal Mahila Kisans belonging to ST, SC, Minorities and Other Backward Caste (OBC) in 250 villages of 5 blocks from 5 districts. In first year of the project 3750 MKs will be covered and subsequently, rest will be covered by second year. Focus of the project is at improving the capacities of women in agriculture to access the resource of other institutions and schemes within convergence framework