With watermelons in Jharkhand and mangoes in Maharashtra, two projects targeted at enhancing the livelihoods of local farmers have taken root. The flavour and the texture of these efforts illustrate their value in providing an additional source of income for beneficiaries, while also widening their agricultural basket. The watermelon venture in Jharkhand operates under the Lakhpati Kisan Mission, the flagship programme of the Collective for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives, an associate organisation of the Tata Trusts. Water conservation and solar energy are important components of a project that, in 2021, helped 865 grower-entrepreneurs from across the state improve their earnings.
The mango cultivation project, operational in 21 villages in Maharashtra’s Nandurbar district, has seen the Trusts teaming up with Nabard (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) to enable about 1,000 mostly tribal farmers with inputs for their small orchards, from which they can make up to 50,000 in additional income every year.