What is WADI?
WADI is a gujurati word and its synonym in Odia is BADI which means an Orchard. Among the various models for sustainable livelihood tried in the tribal belts of India, the WADI model has been proved to be one of the most successful model. In this model, the tribal farmers living closer to the forests and having degraded up lands are supported for developing one acre of orchard where they plant a few fruit bearing trees and few Agro-forestry species as the border crops. Since the fruit bearing trees takes four to five years or more time to give any return, during this period the farmers are assisted to take up inter cropping with vegetables and other short duration crops. Those plots which are called WADI plots are also developed for soil and water conservation and irrigation sources are developed which makes the plots more productive.
In the Odisha climate and as per the different agro-climatic zones usually the farmers plant mango, sweet lime and cashew nuts as the main horticultural crops while they take up moringa, acacia, coconut, subabul, casuarina, chakunda, etc. as the border crops. In the initial three to four years when the trees are not fully grown the farmers grow various vegetables such as brinjals, tomatoes, chillies, beans, onion, garlic, etc. during the rainy season as well as the during the winter and summer seasons. This gives a substantial income to the farmers from the first year.
Under this project, NABARD provides a major support but also various existing schemes of government are converged with it. The beneficiaries also contribute a significant part of the cost in form of labour or in kind.
In the process of implementing the WADI project the villagers are organized into UDYAN (UPVAN) VIKASH SAMITI (UVS) and the leaders of UVS are provided with capacity building trainings so as to manage all the field activities independently. The implementing organizations provide technical and managerial guidance as and when needed. For the marketing of the agricultural and horticultural produces of the farmers, a Farmer Producer Organization is promoted which takes care of the marketing and related activities so that the farmers get the best price for their produces.
Because of the tree plantation and other measures for soil and water conservation, the water table in the villages increases and the croplands become more productive. Because of increased areas under vegetable cultivation, nutritional levels also increases among the WADI farmers as well as their neighbours. Due to WADI activities availability of fodder and fuelwood increase which reduces pressure on the government forest lands and also makes the life of women easier.
OUR PROJECTS AROUND WADI:
Sinapali block of Nuapada district, in the border of Odisha and Chattisgarh and it has been considered as one of the poorest block in the whole state. The area is also a drought prone area. It has more than fifty percent area covered under forest land and the population of scheduled tribe is also about 42%. As usual in Sinapali block also the scheduled tribe people are the poorest among the whole population. A large number of the tribals had been settled in forest areas since the British time but most of their lands had been recorded as forest lands which had been always a bone of contention between the tribals and the forest department. However, after enactment of the Forest Rights Act-2006 all the tribals could get record of right over the land which was under their possession.
After getting the record of right on those lands, most of which are degraded and uplands, the beneficiaries approached SVA to support for developing their lands. After a series of discussion and planning at the village level, we decided to take up a WADI project and approached NABARD for the financial assistance. Accordingly, during the year 2013-14 the project was sanctioned with a seven year plan period and it has been completed in the year 2019-2020.
ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN IN THE WADI PROJECT:
- Orchard Development (fruit/plantation/herbal crops/& forest Plants) as the core component.
- Soil and moisture conservation measures.
- Water Resources Management (Conservation & use).
- Sustainable Agriculture.
- Human resource development (Community development).
- Women Development through components such as Drudgery Reduction measures, On-Farm and Non-Farm Income Generating Activities and Formation of SHGs.
- Community health
- Micro-enterprises for landless people.
- Processing & marketing of Agro and Horticultural produces.