Livelihoods News

On the eve on International Day of Older Persons or World Elders Day as many call it, HelpAge India released a first-of-its-kind “Economic & Health Survey on India’s Oldest Old (80 +)”. The survey brought out some startling facts.

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned Rs. 18.99 crore loan under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) for construction of 74 godown-cum-storage structures benefiting 81,946 tribal population in ten districts of the Andhra Pradesh State. The funds will also be used for building 122 domestic requirement sale-cum-storage depots (DR depots) benefiting 41,850 tribal families. These structures would be built by the State government through Girijan Cooperative Corporation Limited in Adilabad, Karimnagar, Khammam, Warangal, Chittoor, East Godavari, West Godavari, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram. Of the total outlay of Rs. 19.99 crore, NABARD loan would account for Rs. 18.99 crore and the balance would be met by the State government. This initiative will help to reduce post harvest losses to the farmers and other producers due to lack of storage facilities in their areas. And allow them to get better prices as they can sell the produce whenever there is good price in the market  which will increase their income further.

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has so far assisted 653 projects in Andhra Pradesh with an outlay of Rs.454.3 crore, under the Central subsidy scheme on development/strengthening of agricultural,marketing, infrastructure, grading and standardisation. This was stated recently by P. Mohanaiah, NABARD Chief General Manager, while presiding over a workshop on the scheme organised by the NABARD Consultancy Services. He offered the organisation's ‘full' support to investors and banks in the formulation/appraisal of projects of agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, milk and meat sectors. This will help farm and non farm livelihoods  and support the income generation process in the rural areas.

New Delhi: To deal with the problem of food grains rotting in godowns, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to consider distributing them at “very low cost” or “no cost” as a short term measure.A Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma passed this order, taking on record the affidavit filed by the Centre in response to the suggestions made by the court on July 27.


Some African countries are offering land on lease for 99 years for free to overseas farmers and India should grab the opportunity, industry body Assocham said recently. Assocham has sent a proposal to the External Affairs Ministry to consider tapping the emerging agricultural opportunities in Africa and offering to act as a facilitator to help Indian farmers reap the benefits of the huge potential that lie in Africa. The huge issue of food shortage, these countries have begun inviting overseas farmers to come and cultivate their lands. These governments are willing to lease land free of cost for 99 years. Farmers are free to cultivate the land and raise any crop and sell it to the domestic market and also export. Since the lease is for 99 years, it means that a farmer is in control of the land for his life time. It means land for roughly around three generations. The countries that were in the forefront trying to attract agriculturists were Sudan and Ethopia. Several Chinese farmers have already accepted the offer and begun cultivation of land. A number of farmers from Punjab have also on their own initiative migrated to these countries and begun cultivation. However, the chambers was not able to provide statistics on the number of Indians farming in these African countries.


A series of cloud bursts have left 59 persons dead and over 200 injured in the frontier Leh town of Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. An army spokesman in Srinagar  said 6,000 army troopers have been rushed to the ravaged area for rescue and relief efforts. The death toll might go up as rescue work was still going on."The old and new bus stands, scores of houses, an Indo-Tibetan border police camp, a central reserve police force camp, a police camp and a government polytechnic have been extensively damaged in the flash floods and mudslides in Leh town," this may further lead to loss of livelihoods and income for the people in the area, also the heavy rain may effect the cutivation due to heavy wather flow and spreading of diseases due to water logging in the area.

The West Bengal Government recently announced subsidies on diesel for agricultural purposes and on power which will benefit consumers of up to 200 units of electricity monthly. While the subsidy on diesel for the agricultural sector will be one rupee per litre, nearly 78 lakh consumers of power across the State will benefit from subsidies that will cost the State Government Rs. 120 crore annually. State Finance Minister said the subsidy on diesel for agricultural purposes would cost the State Rs. 30 crore annually. It would benefit farmers who have to depend largely on irrigation facilities and are already burdened by the rising costs of agricultural inputs.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot flagged off nine mobile soil testing laboratories at Pant Krishi Bhavan recently to provide the facility of on-the-spot analysis of soil in agricultural fields in remote villages along with recommendation for the use of manure and fertilisers in correct proportion.

The mobile labs, launched under the National Soil Health and Productivity Management Project through public-private partnership, are expected to make a significant contribution to a better crop yield as well as remunerative prices for the agricultural produce. He called upon the farmers to adopt the latest techniques in their fields with the help of agricultural scientists.


Andhra Pradesh State Government has sanctioned Rs 23.45 crores for setting up mini-dairies in 22 districts, 200 in each one of them with interest subsidy of 75 per cent under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) during 2010-11. This is aimed at augmenting milk production in the State.

Farmers experienced in dairy sector, unemployed rural youth and women members of self - help groups are the ones who are eligible to set up dairy units with funding from RKVY. The plan is to set up 4,400 dairy units across the State.

The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries issued the guidelines regarding the financial outlays, requirement of milch animals (buffaloes/cross bred cows), mode of payment of interest subsidy etc. The mini dairy units are expected to help Andhra Pradesh capture the first rank in the country in milk production from its 2nd position now. A.P stands first in India in egg and meat production. The contribution of livestock sector to India's Gross State Domestic Product is approximately Rs 16,190 crores (6.42 percent).

New Delhi: The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) recenlty introduced a new scheme, ‘NPS-Lite', to target the economically disadvantaged sections and promote small savings during their productive life. Having extended the New Pension System (NPS) to all citizens with effect from May 1 last year, the PFRDA has also made available the ‘Swavalamban Scheme,' which grants an incentive of Rs.1,000 for all eligible NPS accounts, to all NPS-Lite account holders as well if they meet the prescribed criteria. The Swavalamban initiative would be available, he said, to persons who joined the NPS with a minimum annual contribution of Rs. 1,000 and a maximum of Rs 12,000 during the fiscal 2010-11. The scheme “aims at harnessing the outreach and capacity of the government operated schemes, NGOs, MFIs, NBFCs, etc, in targeting and servicing the old-age savings needs of low income workers.