Orchard development sets the tone of tribal development

Inadequate household income due to degraded resources and limited opportunities has led to migration, malnutrition, and poor quality of life among tribals in India. These problems have been effectively tackled by enabling people to re-build their resource base, and by strengthening local action through Gram Vikas Mandals (village development forums) and developing human resources at village level. The orchard programme described in this paper currently reaches more than 11,000 families and 4000 ha of marginal lands are converted into orchards. It has helped people to plan further development actions, improve their knowledge and risk-taking ability, and build social cohesiveness. Thus, it has ensured that tribals' wellbeing is linked with that of the ecosystem. This time-bound, result-oriented programme is now recognised as a model for development of tribals and rural poor and is run by BAIF Development Research Foundation and sponsored by the Government of Germany through KfW and NABARD, India.