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Barani Village Development Project
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the
Agency for Barani Area Development (ABAD), funded by the Government of
Punjab, are the funding Agencies for the Barani Village Development
Project (BVDP). NRSP was engaged by ABAD to implement the Community and
Women’s Development component of the project. NSRP was engaged in
January 2001 and the Project will be completed 31st December 2005.
Barani Village Development Project
Linkages with ADAB and other Line Agencies
Barani Village Development
The BVDP operates in 890 villages spread over six Tehsils in the Potohar
Plateau, the area covered by NSRP’s Rawalpindi Region. The Tehsils are:
Attock, Jand, Pindi Gheb, Talagang, Gujar Khan and P.D. Khan.
The BVDP objectives include: (1) improving agricultural production and
productivity, (2) improving the incomes of the rural poor (3)
establishing and strengthening COs as the institutions through which
technical and social services can be sustainably provided (4) improving
the status and economic condition of women in culturally acceptable ways
(5) improving physical conditions by providing water supply systems,
link roads, and school buildings and (6) increasing opportunities for
on-farm and off-farm employment in the Project area.
Barani (rain-fed) areas are defined as agricultural lands which have no
access to any of the major irrigation systems of the Indus Basin. Across
the six Tehsils covered by the BVDP, only 35,000 hectares are irrigated,
while 156,000 hectares depend on rainfall. Given the low and unreliable
rainfall in barani areas, crop yields are low and household income from
farming is often insufficient to maintain households. The incidence of
poverty is therefore very high. Of the 2.1 million people who live in
the BVDP area, almost 83% live in rural areas. There are approximately
235,000 rural households with an average family size of 7.3 persons
living in some 900 villages in 103 Union Councils.
The predominant occupations of the rural households in the Project area
are: self-employed farming (55%), farm labour and/or share cropping
(15%), off-farm rural and urban labour (8% and 7% respectively) and
armed forces jobs (5%). Overseas migration is significant, with 5% of
the households benefiting from remittances. The criterion for CO
membership in a Community Organisation formed under the BVDP is land
ownership of 25 acres or less. Many of the women members are the heads
of households. Most are extremely poor.
Specific Tehsils were selected because of their low levels of
development, the high incidence of poverty, and their exclusion from
previous and on-going major development activities. On the positive
side, they were selected because untapped water resources are available
for small-scale irrigation. Previous IFAD Projects have established
schemes for irrigated and rainfed development in neighbouring areas with
similar agro-ecological conditions.
The BVDP has a number of components, each implemented by relevant
Government Departments or Agencies. NRSP is the only participating NGO,
and is responsible for the ‘Community and Women’s Development’
Component. NRSP has made a commitment to form 2,800 COs for the BVDP,
800 to 1,100 of them women’s. Based on 22 members as the optimum size
for a CO, a total of 61,600 men and women will have formed COs when the
component has been fully implemented. When the current phase of the
Project is complete, 5,600 community members will have been trained as
CO Managers. It is expected that 24,400 CO members will have taken
credit for agri-inputs, livestock-related enterprises and other
enterprise development. NRSP envisages that CO members will have saved
Rs 110 million over the course of the Project.
BVDP Linkages with ABAD and Other Line Agencies
One of NRSP’s major functions in BVDP is to link the COs with the Line
Agencies that have the relevant expertise and resources. Where
applicable, NRSP facilitates the COs and Line Agencies in defining Terms
of Partnership agreements. With a view to mobilising human and financial
resources, NRSP helps to establish links with other organisations such
as NGOs, donor agencies and government departments for the COs’ social
sector needs. If a CO identifies schemes requiring a larger investment
than that provided by the Project, NRSP will help to link the CO with
other lending agencies.
COs are also enabled to interact directly with the concerned Line Agency
or non-Governmental agency. The Community Management Skills Training
Programme plays an important role in enabling community members to
initiate this kind of linkage. Direct linkages result in better
coordination between the communities and external bodies.
The COs and VDCs undertake infrastructure investment works using locally
available material and labour. The respective Line Departments assist in
procuring tools and materials where needed. The line agencies implement
the project activities in the areas identified by COs as elaborated in
Appraisal Reports and yearly plans. NRSP has succeeded in creating
access of COs fostered in the present programme area to various line
agencies, such as ABAD, the Livestock Department, Agri-extension, Soil
and Water Conservation, On-Farm Water Management and a number of
Research Institutes. The linkage between ABAD, other departments and
NRSP has been informal so far, but due to frequent interaction between
the field staff of these organizations, the COs have benefited from
numerous services under various projects. NRSP organises workshops to
which line agency officials are invited: these officials present their
own programmes and discuss problems with the CO members. Various
training programmes sponsored by NRSP are organized in collaboration
with various line agencies in which the line agency officials provide
Resource Person services
The Agricultural Development component addresses water resources, soil
conservation, crops, livestock and adaptive research. The broad aims of
this objective are to:
Achieve sustainable production increases from field and horticultural
crops and livestock to improve household food security.
Expanding and broadening nutritional
intake and enabling surplus outputs for additional income.
Promote stable, sector-wise agricultural
development focused on intensifying and diversifying production system.
Arrest environmental degradation. The next step after the
cost-benefit analysis, is the arrangement of the desired resources to
address the priority needs. These resources are pooled by the community,
provided by the support organization or managed through other
stakeholders like private and public sector service delivery
departments, NGOs and donors.
Water Resource Development component
aims to provide community-owned and managed irrigation water supplies
through dug wells, mini-dams and ponds. The project also encourages the
establishment of modern water saving irrigation methods suitable for high
value crops: this is primarily done through small-scale demonstrations.
The Soil and Water Conservation
component includes gully plugging, terracing, water control structures,
tree planting and hill torrent control. Crop Development is supported
through the development and extension of improved agronomic packages. This
component is conceived of as an extension’ system inter-acting with COs.
The BVDP provides facilities and operating expenses for the establishment
Demonstration plots for the promotion of field and
vegetable crop technologies on farmer’s fields.
Support to seed production through the introduction
of simple seed cleaning and treatment equipment at CO level and training
seed growers selected by the COs.
Training Extension workers to facilitate two way
communications between the extension staff and the COs members.
Training Extension staff members in participatory
development and in technical matters relating to operating expenses.
Development component consists of:
plots for the promotion of field and vegetable crop technologies on
seed production through the introduction of simple seed cleaning and
treatment equipment at CO level and training seed growers selected by
Extension workers to facilitate two way communications between the
extension staff and the COs members.
Extension staff members in participatory development and in technical
matters relating to operating expense.
and Women’s Development component, implemented by NRSP, consists of the
participants into effectively functioning COs, developing the leadership
skills of CO members and helping COs to formulate community development
savings/credit scheme for each CO.
participatory appraisals of local resource needs and prioritising those
COs to access to other components of the project, so as to implement the
required developmental schemes.
bi-directional institutional linkage with public, private and other
agencies for the sustainable operation of CO activities.
building, the cornerstone of community development, is done through:
CO members have
formed 382 Village Development Committees (VDCs)
to ensure the proper implementation of infrastructure schemes
in the Project. These VDCs are responsible for managing and supervising
infrastructure projects. It is a Project requirement that one third of VDC
members be women. As the Project matures, NRSP will mobilise the COs to
form six ‘apex’ bodies, one in each Tehsil.
CO Leaders' Workshops enable
participating organisations to exchange experiences and to build
confidence in the utility of collective management. The outcome is
improved institutional progress. These workshops are held at the Regional
and Field Unit levels. Two workshops for men and two for women are held
every year. They are attended by NRSP staff, the regional PMU staff and
the local Line Agency staff.
A Community Development Fund finances
village-level infrastructure projects identified as priority needs by COs
and FCOs and not covered by the irrigation/soil conservation programme.
The fund also includes funds for local water supplies, sanitation, access
roads and other small-scale infrastructure.
The Project has established a Revolving Fund
of Rs 124.2 million to meet the credit needs of community members.
Credit from this fund is available for agricultural inputs, livestock, and
other agricultural and non-agricultural income generating activities and
micro-enterprises. The maximum loan size is Rs 50,000 with repayment due
in no more than two years. A small number of micro-enterprise loans above
this ceiling are financed by commercial banks.
Savings Schemes are utilised for
infrastructure projects, internal loaning within the CO and as matching
funds for credit. The savings may consist of a bank balance, a CO
contribution to a village level development intervention, Term deposit
certificates or ‘internal lending’ (i.e. a loan made by the CO to its
members). These loans are typically used for small income-generating
activities or to meet emergencies.
Each CO mobilises its members' savings at a rate determined by the group.
The accumulation of a certain volume of deposit contributes to a group's
eligibility for (a) a production credit from the Revolving Credit); (b) a
micro enterprise credit allocation; and (c) a grant from the project's
physical infrastructure development fund. The other important determinant
for eligibility is the development of adequate level of skill through
training and other means. For participation in the implementation of
productive infrastructure, the CO is required to demonstrate its
willingness and ability to contribute to the estimated investment.
Credit Delivery As part of the
planning exercise, the CO members identify the income generating
activities for which they will need financial assistance. NRSP encourages
the COs to implement income-generating activities through credit funds.
For small schemes requiring financial assistance such as for agriculture
inputs, livestock and small enterprise, NRSP extends credit to CO members.
NRSP does not require collateral in the form of tangible assets from CO
members. However, they are required to save some funds before requesting
credit from NRSP. Social pressure is used as collateral for ensuring
prompt repayments. This social pressure is generated through CO meetings,
cluster meetings, training programmes and allowing credit disbursement to
only those areas which show satisfactory repayment performance.
The credit-selection criteria are the same as those in the regular NRSP
rural credit programme: (a) credit limits, credit terms, collateral
requirements, and related conditions must attract the poor and (b) credit
is provided only for productive activities which can generate
profitability at the cost of funds
The Community Development Profile (CDP)
consists of two documents: the village profile
and the micro-investment plan.
The village profile (which is the equivalent of the Situation Analysis
described elsewhere in this Report), establishes benchmark data for
subsequent assessment and evaluation. It also serves as the basis for
group and village level development projects. In the micro-investment
plan, community members are encouraged to prepare a development profile of
each member household. These household level profiles provide information
about the members’ resources, identify gaps in optimum utilisation of
available resources; describe members’ capacity to generate resources;
identify the aspirations of household members, and the type of support
required to increase the resource base. On the basis of this information,
by assessing the potential capacity, innate capabilities and tendencies,
and inherent preferences of an individual, an income generation micro-plan