The entire project will be funded by International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) with a cost of Rs 400 crore, an official release said.
“With a view to reducing poverty in hill districts by enabling rural households to take sustainable livelihood opportunities integrated with economy, the Integrated Livelihood Support Project(ILSP) will be launched under IFAD,” it said.
Of the total Rs 400 crore, 48 per cent would be spent for food security and livelihood enhancement and 45 per cent for watershed development in the hill state. A meeting in this regard presided over by Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar was held at Secretariat yesterday.
Kumar directed the officers concerned to prepare a draft project formulation report including details of the project design.
This should be ready by the end of July and a final design (appraisal) mission would be filed from August 8 to September 9, followed by drafting of loan agreement and approval by IFAD Executive Board in December 2011. He categorically asked the officers to adhere to the time frame in order to get the grant in the proportion of 90:10.
The strategy behind the ILSP would be to support and develop the food production systems as main means of support for most households. This would involve improving technologies for production of traditional food crops and livestock and developing supporting services for input supply and marketing of any surpluses, Kumar said. To make food production more secure, he maintained the project would support production of fodder and other non-timber forest products in community forest areas, also called van panchayats.
Kumar said the thrust of the project was to generate cash incomes through the introduction and expansion of cash crops. Significant production of off-season vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes and peas and some fruit would get technological support and market.
Availability of self-employment avenues and livelihood would check migration form hills, he further said. He said the first component of the project would include food security and livelihood enhancement, the second component would include participatory watershed development, while the third aim of the project would include livelihood financing. The project would also focus on building of the skills of rural people resulting in new and more remunerative jobs and self employment.