Report by OD bureau; Bhubaneswar: The Joint Review Team IFAD (International Fund for Agriculture Development) have applauded the progress of OTELP (Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihoods Programme) in Odisha. The team has presented its findings and recommendations in a high level warp up meeting held under Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik in secretariat conference hall today.
Discussions in the meeting reveal that IFAD fielded a Mission for joint review of the performances of OTELP during first fortnight of August this year. The 5 member team led by Mr. Deep Joshi, IFAD Consultant joined by Susanta Nanda , Director OTELP visited 14 villages of seven districts namely Koraput, Kalahandi, Nawarangpur, Rayagada and Malkangiri.
The evaluation team interacted with men and women from different households of project area, held discussions with Village Development Committee Secretaries, Community mobilizers, facilitating officials and NGO workers, ITDA , line agencies and Collectors of the districts. They also collected primary data from people through household survey. The basic objective of the evaluation was to measure real changes taking place at community and household level in terms of livelihood support and to asses sustainability of the project.
The team in their findings mentioned that the overall performance of the project has been very encouraging and satisfactory. The achievement of the project has been rated as over 81% in all its components and activities. The project has promoted a large number of women SHG’s and village level institutions and has equipped them with skills to plan and implement the development projects. A number of village youths have been trained in various sectoral skills. A number of soil and water conservation structures have been constructed across all project villages.
Near about 100% of the beneficiary households have been made aware about the project and its activities and more than 95% have been involved in various land and water management activities. Around 81% of households have developed their land through project activities and 81% have been involved in various agricultural development programmes. Around 87% of beneficiaries have been linked with rural financial services and 67% have received skill development training. Around 41% of the households have already received their land titles and land rights. Agricultural production has gone up around 60% and vegetable production has also been boosted up to 90%.
Available data shows the project is now operating in 1042 villages of 358 micro-watersheds, in 30 blocks of 7 districts as mentioned above. In total 56180 households including 13583 landless, 38479 BPL have been brought under the orbit of the programme. The ST population constitutes around 74.50% of the total population. The project has been started from 2004-05 and is scheduled for exist by March,2013. During 2011-12 Rs 53.29 Cr has been utilized against Annual Work Plan Budget of Rs.60 Cr. which is around 81%. Sources say, Government of Odisha has earlier recommended continuing the Project beyond March, 2013 with funds from state sources.
The Team has also appreciated convergence of various Governmental programmes at village level in project areas. One Sn. team member mentioned that at present near about 30% of developmental funds are being sourced from other developmental programmes. They mentioned that Odisha has been a fore runner in this kind of convergence which gives sustainability to the project. Because of the availability of alternative livelihood and more than one source of earning the migration rate from project villages have been reduced from 32% to 7%.
Considering the recommendations of the Team Chief Secretary Sri Patnaik has advised OTELP authorities to focus on social development index like literacy, reduction of IMR & MMR, immunization of all children, checking drop out from schools and use of toilets etc. Participating in discussions Development Commissioner Sri R.N. Senapati has emphasized on working out of comprehensive development plan for each villages and intensify convergence of various governmental programmes so as to make the up coming changes self sustainable. Other Members of the team were Mr. A. M. Alam, Ms. Judith D Souza, Mr. S. Sairam and Mr. Vincent Darlong from IFAD.
Pr. Secretary Agriculture Sri R.L. Jamuda, Director NRLM Ms. Chitra Arumugam, The Director ST & SC Welfare Sri S. K. Popli, Director, OTELP Sri Susant Nanda, Director, Nabakrushna Choudhury Institute of Development Studies Sri R.K.Panda along with other members participated in discussions.