POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROJECTS

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ENVIRONMENTAL
MANAGEMENT FOR
SUSTAINABLE RURAL
LIVELIHOODS
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
FRAMEWORK FOR ANDHRA PRADESH
POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROJECTS




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ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT FOR
SUSTAINABLE RURAL LIVELIHOODS
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK FOR ANDHRA PRADESH
POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROJECTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The project that is the focus of this case study ‘Environmental Management Framework for
Andhra Pradesh Rural Poverty Alleviation Projects (EMF for APRPAP)’ is part of a larger initiative
called the Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP). IKP is a statewide poverty reduction initiative being
implemented in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India to enable the rural poor to improve their
livelihoods and quality of life through their own organizations. The IKP works with 6,29,870 Self
Help Groups (SHGs) of women federated into 36,829 Village Organizations (VOs) and 888 Mandal
Samaikhya (MMS).
Community Investment Fund (CIF) is a major component of the project, which is provided to
the SHGs / VOs / MMSs to support wide range of activities for socio-economic empowerment of
the poor.
Being an initiative supported by the World Bank, the IKP is required to have an Environmental
Management Framework (EMF). SERP has built linkages with organizations involved in
environmental education, sustainable rural development, etc., and implements the EMF in
collaboration with them.
The objectives of the EMF are:
• To ensure that neither the livelihoods of the poor nor the environment are
compromised
• Explore possibilities of making the efforts to improve livelihoods as well as conservation
of the environment complimentary so that there are sustained benefits from the
development activities initiated
The EMF basically has two components. They are:
• Environmental assessment: This is intended to be part of every proposal or micro plan
put forth for credit from the CIF by the SHGs / VOs. It is a process that focuses on
identifying and mitigating any negative impact of the livelihood activity on the local
natural resources and on enhancing any positive impacts.
• Proactive interventions: These are interventions designed to demonstrate the
complementary relationship between environmental conservation and rural livelihoods.
The proactive interventions currently facilitated by SERP include non-chemical pest
management (NPM), sustainable extraction of non-timber forest produce (NTFP), etc.


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The EMF involves providing various inputs to the IKP to enable meeting the stated objectives.
These include development of tools for environmental assessment, development of community
awareness materials, capacity building and periodic monitoring.
Environmental assessment tools were developed for over twenty common natural resource-
based rural livelihood activities supported by the IKP. The assessment includes checking the
compliance of the proposed livelihood activity with the relevant policies, rules and regulations. The
EA tools are basically a set of simple questions that help to examine the prevalent practices and also
suggest suitable alternative practices that the beneficiary can pursue. The tools also identify the
support required for adoption of mitigation measures and also record the action plan of the VO and
the MMS for meeting the need for support articulated by the SHGs.
Through the EA tools, the EMF introduced several practices and alternative technologies to the
IKP functionaries and beneficiaries. Details on these alternative technologies are provided to the
beneficiaries in the form of community awareness materials that will be used by the Community
Coordinators. The EMF also involved providing training to the staff of the IKP operating at various
levels and internal Community Resource Persons. The training focused on two aspects: the need and
process of EA; and, exposure to various environment friendly practices and technologies. Periodic
visits are also undertaken to the livelihood activities of the SHGs in order to understand the existing
environmental management practices, any potential impact on the environment and to make suitable
recommendations to the IKP functionaries at various levels for better environmental management.
From an ESD perspective, the EMF project is interesting as it:
• Involves mainstreaming of SD concerns into a poverty reduction programme.
• Operates at a scale that is substantial (reaching over 25,000 villages).
• Involves partnerships between Government, Non-governmental organizations and the
community.
• Involves capacity building focusing on skill development for better environmental
management.
• Uses convergence as a key strategy for channeling available support systems for
encouraging people to take up more sustainable livelihood practices.






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ACRONYMS
APDPIP - Andhra Pradesh District Poverty Initiatives Project
APRPRP - Andhra Pradesh Rural Poverty Reduction Project
ASTRA - Application of Science and Technology to Rural Areas
CC - Community Coordinator
CEE - Centre for Environment Education
CEO - Chief Executive Officer
CIF - Community Investment Fund
CRP - Community Resource Person
DAATTC - District Advanced Agricultural technology Transfer Centre
DPM - District Project Manager
DPMU - District Project Management Unit
DRDA - District Rural Development Agency
EA - Environmental Assessment
EMF - Environmental Management Framework
ERG - Environment Resource Group
ESD - Education for Sustainable Development
IKP - Indira Kranthi Patham
MMS - Mandal Mahila Samakhya
NGO - Non Government Organization
NPM - Non-chemical Pest Management
NTFP - Non Timber Forest Produce
SD - Sustainable Development
SERP - Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty
SHG - Self Help Group
SRI - System for Rice Intensification


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VMP - Village Micro Plan
VO - Village Organization



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ATTRIBUTION

Project component Implementing bodies Person in Charge
Environmental Management
Framework (overall)
Indira Kranthi Patham
Society for Elimination of Rural
Poverty
Department of Rural
Development
Government of Andhra
Pradesh
5-10-188/2, Hermitage Office
Complex
Hyderabad – 500004
Phone: +91-040-23298981
T. Vijaya Kumar
CEO

Y. V. Raghunath Reddy
State Project Manager
Environmental Assessment Centre for Environment
Education (CEE)
Andhra Pradesh State Cell
6-2-959, Dakshin Bharat Hindi
Prachar Sabha
Khairatabad, Hyderabad
Phone: +91-040-23374397
Fax: +91-040-23312992
Email:
ceeandhrapradesh@ceeindia.org
Kalyani Kandula
Officer-in-Charge

K. Vanitha
Programme Officer
Proactive intervention – Non-
chemical Pest Management
Centre for Sustainable
Agriculture
12-13-445, Street No. 1
Tarnaka, Secunderabad –
500017
Phone: +91-40-27017735,
27014302
Email: csa@csa-india.org
G. V. Ramanjaneyulu
Executive Director






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PROJECT OVERVIEW
PROJECT TITLE
Environmental Management Framework for Andhra Pradesh Poverty Alleviation Projects
DETAILS OF THE PROJECT
BACKGROUND
The project that is the focus of this case study ‘Environmental Management Framework for
Andhra Pradesh Rural Poverty Alleviation Projects (EMF for APRPAP)’ is part of a larger poverty
alleviation initiative called the Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP). An introduction to the IKP is first
presented in order to help the reader understand the context of the EMF for APRPAP project.
Indira Kranthi Patham (IKP) is a statewide poverty reduction initiative being implemented in the
state of Andhra Pradesh in India to enable the rural poor to improve their livelihoods and quality of
life through their own organizations. It aims to cover all the rural poor households in the state and
currently reaches 1,728,055 poorest of the poor households. The IKP comprises of two projects
called the Andhra Pradesh District Poverty Initiatives Project (APDPIP) and Andhra Pradesh Rural
Poverty Reduction Project (APRPRP) implemented by Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty
(SERP) a body under the Department of Rural Development, Government of Andhra Pradesh with
support from the World Bank. SERP is an autonomous society registered under Societies Act, and
implements the IKP through District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) at the district level.
The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh is the Chairperson of SERP. The project builds on more than
a decade long, state-wide rural women’s self help movement. The focus is on deepening the process,
providing an institutional structure and developing a framework for sustaining it for comprehensive
poverty eradication. It is the single largest poverty reduction project in South Asia.
The IKP works with 6,29,870 Self Help Groups (SHGs) of women federated into 36,829 Village
Organizations (VOs) and 888 Mandal Samaikhya (MMS).
Community Investment Fund (CIF) is a major component of the project, which is provided to
the SHGs / VOs / MMSs to support wide range of activities for socio-economic empowerment of
the poor. CIF is provided to the groups that have formulated investment plan covering activities
such as income generation, land purchase, skill development, social welfare, collective marketing,
development of infrastructure, food grain credit, etc., to enable the poor expand their livelihood
options and improve their quality of life. The core principles of the CIF are productivity, social
justice and sustainability (this focuses on the environmental impact dimension).
The CIF is currently disbursed based on the micro credit plans of SHGs and higher order
institutions (VOs and MMSs). Apart from the CIF the groups are also encouraged to seek credit
from banks and from their own savings.
More details can be obtained from the website: www.velugu.org

Being an initiative supported by the World Bank, the IKP is required to have an Environmental
Management Framework (EMF). An Environment Agency is appointed by SERP to develop the
EMF and to facilitate its implementation in the IKP. Centre for Environment Education (CEE) is
the EA for the APDPIP and the APRPRP. SERP has built linkages with organizations involved in


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sustainable rural development and implements projects in collaboration with them. It has led to the
emergence of strong initiatives in the field of non-chemical management of agricultural pests (in
partnership with Centre for Sustainable Agriculture) and sustainable extraction of non-timber forest
produce (in partnership with Kovel Foundation). This provides value-addition to the IKP in terms of
the scope of its activities and thus, the ways in which it benefits the poor.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT
The objectives of the EMF are:
• To ensure that neither the livelihoods of the poor nor the environment are
compromised
• Explore possibilities of making the efforts to improve livelihoods as well as conservation
of the environment complimentary so that there are sustained benefits from the
development activities initiated
STRATEGY OF THE PROJECT
• Mitigating any negative environmental impacts that may emerge from the sub-projects
• Ensuring the long-term sustainability of benefits from sub-projects by securing the
natural resource base on which they are dependent
• Facilitating proactive subprojects
COMPONENTS OF THE EMF
The EMF basically has two components. They are:
• Environmental assessment: This is intended to be part of every proposal or micro plan
put forth for credit from the CIF by the SHGs / VOs. It is a process that focuses on
identifying and mitigating any negative impact of the livelihood activity on the local
natural resources and on enhancing any positive impacts.
• Proactive interventions: These are interventions designed to demonstrate the
complementary relationship between environmental conservation and rural livelihoods.
The proactive interventions currently facilitated by SERP include non-chemical pest
management (NPM), sustainable extraction of non-timber forest produce (NTFP), etc.


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Salient features of the micro credit planning process and the integration of
EMF in the process
CIF is a loan from the MMS to VO and from VO to SHG.
Repayment from individuals to their SHG, SHG to VO and from VO to MMS in monthly
installments.
VO does the appraisal of the SHG micro plan, the MMS does the appraisal of the VO micro
plan and the DRDA sanctions CIF to MMS.
SHG micro plan: This is the list of activities the members would like to take up and the cost of
implementing these activities. The CIF funds may not be sufficient to cover the needs of all the
members and therefore, prioritization is needed. SHG will decide which of their members get the
loan in the first instance by preparing the priority list based on poverty status of individuals.
Recoveries will be recycled as loans to other members as per the list. MMS does the appraisal and
this process holds good for lending the recovered CIF also. The IKP recommends that each group
collectively examine the facts of each proposal and those satisfying certain stated criteria only be
taken up for inclusion in the micro credit plan. The following criteria relevant to the EMF are
included:
• The proposal should be economically viable and sustainable.
• The proposal should not be a burden are cause adverse effect on the natural resources or
environment of the village.
• There are enough measures taken or available for mitigation of potential risks and support
services with forward and back ward linkages.
VO micro plan: This consists of micro credit plans of the SHGs, food security interventions,
marketing interventions, jobs and skill based interventions, social development interventions and
infrastructure development. The source of funds for executing VO micro plan are bank linkage,
own funds (savings and interest), and CIF. Each VO is recommended to have a Credit Policy.
One component of this policy is Appraisal and Sanction. The IKP recommends that:
• There will be formal appraisal of the loan by the group members at the regular meeting.
• The appraisal includes verification of financial viability, livelihood analysis, and environmental
impact.
The appraisal of the VO micro plan by the MMS includes institutional appraisal, assessment of
the VO entitlement for CIF loan and economic viability. In addition to these, social, gender and
environmental criteria must be met before the MMS sanctions the VO micro plan.
TARGET BENEFICIARIES
The IKP, as mentioned before, reaches about 629,870 Self Help Groups (SHGs) of women
federated into 36,829 Village Organizations (VOs) and 888 Mandal Samaikhya (MMS). Each SHG


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has about 10-20 women members. The livelihood activities of the SHG women and their families are
typically wage labour, agriculture, livestock rearing, forest dependent activities (such as collection of
non-timber forest produce), small enterprises, etc. The EMF is an integral component of the IKP
and thus services the environmental management needs of its beneficiaries. This is done through
several tiers of functionaries including the staff of the DRDAs, external resource persons operating
at the district level, the IKP staff operating at the mandal and village levels (called the Assistant
Project Managers and Community Coordinators), and internal Community Resource Persons (CRPs
who are selected women from the SHGs) operating at the mandal and village levels.
RESOURCE INPUTS
The EMF involves providing various inputs to the IKP to enable meeting the stated objectives.
These include development of tools for environmental assessment, development of community
awareness materials, capacity building and periodic monitoring.
Environmental assessment tools
Environmental assessment tools (see appendix 1) were developed for over twenty common
natural resource-based rural livelihood activities supported by the IKP. The tools have been designed
by CEE with support from the Application of Science and Technology in Rural Areas (ASTRA),
Indian Institute of Science. The assessment includes checking the compliance of the proposed
livelihood activity with the World Bank safeguard policies, rules and regulations of Government of
India and Government of Andhra Pradesh. The EA tools are basically a set of simple questionnaires
– one each for each major livelihood activities. The questions help to examine the prevalent practices
(for example, are safety precautions followed while spraying pesticides?) and also suggest suitable
alternative practices that the beneficiary can pursue (for example, the adoption of the pit method for
composting animal dung instead of the traditional heap method). The tool also identifies the support
required for adoption of mitigation measures (for example, does the beneficiary need information on
preparation of botanical extracts for pest management?). It also records the action plan of the VO
and the MMS for meeting the need for support articulated by the SHGs (for example, if 30 women
in the village have taken credit for purchase of buffaloes in one village, can a fodder cutter be
procured with subsidy from the Government for saving on fodder?). The EA tools were distributed
to all the DRDAs for use in the EA of the micro credit plans at various levels.
An EA experience…
The EA exercise was done by CEE for the activities supported by the CIF of the IKP in
Ibrahimpatnam Mandal of Ranga Reddy district. In Karnamguda village of that mandal the
major crop being grown is paddy. Being a water intensive crop the negative impact on the ground
water levels in the area was inevitable. Based on this finding, the adoption of SRI (System for Rice
Intensification) was recommended for cultivation of paddy.
An exposure visit was organized to 11 farmers interested in SRI to the Acharya N.G. Ranga
Agricultural University. Out of this, two farmers Narsimha Reddy and Manik Reddy
implemented SRI on their fields in the main crop season of 2005. The District Advanced
Agricultural Technology Transfer Centre (DAATTC) provided technical support while the
mandal Agriculture Officer provided a rotary weeder. Narsimha Reddy was invited as a resource
person by the Agriculture Department to a farmer’s awareness campaign. In the 2006 crop season
two more farmers from the village adopted SRI.


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“SRI gave me 2050 kg of paddy compared to the 1638 kg I got previously from the same plot of
90 cents. However, the advantage of SRI is not only in the high yield – it is also the low cost of
cultivation. I used just 2 kg of seed as compared to 35 kg in the conventional method. This saved
me Rs. 335. I also saved Rs. 400 on electricity for the bore pump motor as SRI needs less
watering. With the rotary weeder I did the weeding myself and saved on the costs of hiring labour
for weeding – Rs. 360. Using less chemical fertilizer saved me Rs. 120 while using less chemical
pesticide saved me an additional Rs. 80. The only input I havd to spend more on was purchase of
farm yard manure – this cost me an additional Rs. 250. Overall I saved Rs. 1045 and also got
an additional income of Rs.1039 from the increased yield.”
- Narsimha Reddy, Karnamguda village
Community awareness materials
Through the EA tools, the EMF introduced
several practices and alternative technologies to the
IKP functionaries and beneficiaries. It was necessary
to provide adequate details on these alternative
technologies to the beneficiaries in order to spark
their interest in these technologies so that they would
consider adopting them or seek further support.
These details are provided in the form of community
awareness materials that will be used by the
Community Coordinators. The materials include
four flip charts on the themes of drought, livestock
and environment, integrated nutrient management
and integrated pest management. The project
functionaries need fairly in-depth information on the practices and alternative technologies suggested
as part of the EA tools. In addition to how and why a particular practice works, they need
information on who can provide training on the practice, if there is a Government scheme to
subsidize the cost of the inputs required, etc. These details are provided in the form of handbooks.
Five hand books have been developed (for the use of grass root level workers, the community
coordinators) on environmentally proactive interventions in agriculture and energy.
Community awareness materials on the specific proactive interventions taken up by SERP were
also developed by it in coordination with partner agencies such as Centre for Sustainable Agriculture,
Kovel Foundation, etc. These included training manuals, posters and Kalajathas (folk art form) on


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pesticide poisoning and non-chemical pest management. A training manual on non-timber forest
produce was also developed.
Capacity building
The EMF involved providing training to the staff of the DRDAs, external resource persons
operating at the district level, the IKP staff operating at the mandal and village levels (called the
Community Coordinators), and internal Community Resource Persons (CRPs who are selected
women from the SHGs) operating at the mandal and village levels. The training focused on two
aspects: the need and process of EA; and, exposure to various environment friendly practices and
technologies.
Community Resource Persons and the EMF
Training in the EMF has been an important component of the capacity building of CRPs on micro
credit planning. Sessions on the EMF were part of the state level training on micro credit planning
given to CRPs. Orientation and training programmes to CRPs on the EMF are ongoing.

CRPs doing the EA process with an SHG member
In Ibrahimpatnam mandal of Ranga Reddy district, 21 CRPs from 9 villages were trained in the
EMF. The training focused on both the EA and on the proactive interventions the CRPs can
facilitate in the villages of their mandal.
Following the training, the CRPs conducted EA for the micro plans of 3 villages in the same
mandal and gave the feed back to the respective members. They could identify a range of practices
and technologies that could mitigate negative environmental impacts and enhance positive
environmental impacts of the livelihood activities of over 40 IKP beneficiaries through this process.
The next step for the CRPs is to facilitate the implementation of the actions identified through
building linkages with the relevant line departments.


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The actions identified by the CRPs for agriculture activity include:
- Crop rotation in paddy lands with pulses (for nitrogen fixation and pest management)
- Seed treatment using cow dung urine mixture (for pest management)
- Appropriate spacing between crop plants (for nutrient and pest management)
- Use of drip and sprinkler methods of irrigation (for efficient irrigation)
- Vermicomposting (for nutrient management)
- Green manure crops (for nutrient management)
- Extension support from mandal Agriculture Officer
- Use of trap crops, botanical extracts, pheromone traps, trichocards, etc. (for pest management)

The actions identified by the CRPs for dairy activity include:
- Selection of breed suitable to local conditions (for easier management)
- Fodder grass cultivation (to reduce pressure on grazing lands)
- Fodder tree cultivation (to supplement dry fodder availability during summer months)
- Urea treatment for paddy straw (to enhance nutritive content)
- Proper shed construction and maintenance (for better sanitation)
“We are also people like you. We thought these things would be difficult to learn – but now we
advise others on how to adopt these practices. If we are to improve our livelihoods, we must think
proactively about the way we do things – not just about credit”.
- Manjula, a CRP, to an SHG member during the EA process
The training to CRPs on proactive interventions focused on three skills:
- Simple method of testing nutrients in soil (for better planning of fertilizer inputs)
- Urea treatment of dry paddy straw (for enhancing nutrient content of dry fodder)
- Preparation of botanical extracts for pest management (for non-chemical pest management)



CRPs learning soil testing using the kit developed by Acharya N. G. Ranga Agriculture
University
The future plan is to provide soil testing kits to the CRPs. This will enable them to provide the
service to farmers at a fee. Other services such as preparation and sale of botanical extracts and
training in urea treatment will also provide remuneration that can sustain this activity by the
CRPs.


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Capacity building is a key component of the proactive interventions taken up by SERP. These
include training of resource persons at the village level (called Village Activists, Village Botanists, etc.)
in coordination with partner agencies such as Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Kovel Foundation,
etc. The IKP beneficiaries are reached through these trained village-level resource persons.
Monitoring support
The EMF includes periodic visits by the EA to the livelihood activities of the SHGs in order to
understand the existing environmental management practices, any potential impact on the
environment and to make suitable recommendations to the DRDA and SERP for better
management. The EA visits about 10-15 livelihood activities every 6 months in each of the 22
districts.


A switch over from heap composting (left) to more efficient pit composting (right) in Shallapally village of Dharmasagar
mandal in Warangal district as a result of the EMF intervention. While the individual impact of such micro-level
interventions is small – their cumulative impact should not be discounted.

Ongoing support is provided as part of every proactive intervention facilitated by SERP. For
example, the NPM initiative has resource teams established at mandal and district levels. In addition,
over 30 grass root level organizations are involved in providing day to day support to the
programme.
PROCESS DOCUMENTATION
Time-series
The integration of the EMF into the processes of IKP was initiated around the year 2000 with
the initiation of the APDPIP project. Since then the form of the EMF, the shaping of its
components and degree of its integration into the livelihood activities of the SHGs, and its main
streaming within the IKP activities has changed over time.
2000-2002: EMF for identifying negative impacts
In the initial phases of the APDPIP, the EMF focused only on the EA. The EA tool used was a
simple checklist that focused on one question – Is there any negative impact of the proposed
livelihood activity on any natural resource component? An orientation was provided to the
Community Coordinators who are the field level IKP functionaries on the use of this checklist.
2002-2005: EMF for mitigating negative impacts and enhancing positive impacts
The next phase saw further development of the EMF by SERP. The EMF was viewed as
focusing on two components – the EA and the proactive interventions. CEE was appointed as the


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Environment Agency in this period. SERP also build up partnerships with several organizations to
facilitate proactive environmental management interventions in the areas of agriculture and non-
timber forest produce.
A set of detailed EA tools were developed focusing on specific livelihood activities. The tools
focused on identifying practices and technologies that could mitigate negative impacts and enhance
positive impacts of the livelihood activities on the environment. The grass roots level functionaries of
the IKP as well as external resource persons were trained in the use of these tools. These tools were
to be used in the context of the proposals submitted by the SHGs for credit. Field visits were made
to a sample of livelihood activities supported by the IKP and recommendations for better
management were provided in the form of reports to the DRDA and SERP.
During this phase, SERP focused on interventions designed to demonstrate viable alternatives to
existing practices that had a negative impact on natural resources and ultimately on the poor. These
interventions included:
• Non-chemical Pesticide Management (NPM) in agriculture in partnership with the
Centre for Sustainable Agriculture
• Sustainable extraction of non-timber forest products (NTFP) in partnership with the
Kovel Foundation
• Promotion of fodder cultivation as part of livestock activities
Enhancing natural resources to support livelihood activities
With support from the CIF, several SHG members in Kurnool district took credit and purchased
buffaloes. These buffaloes were of the graded Murrah breed. The graded Murrah is derived from the
Murrah breed of Northern India. It requires sound management and adequate green fodder
availability in order to give milk yield to its potential under local conditions.
The IKP focused on facilitating the cultivation of green fodder by the SHG members to sustain their
dairy activity. About 125 SHG members are involved in this initiative spread over five villages.
Each SHG member has been allotted 20 cents of land for cultivation of fodder by the VO. The
SHG member pays a monthly rental of Rs. 150 for the land to the VO. The VO in turn pays
back the farmers from whom the land has been taken on lease for 5 years (at the rate of Rs.
10,000 per acre). The fodder seed (of the high yielding NP 25 perennial variety) is supplied by the
VO to each SHG member. The fodder cultivated on 20 cents is adequate to meet the green fodder
required by two buffaloes (each SHG member on an average owns two buffaloes).
The involvement of the VO made it possible for the SHG members to meet the fodder requirements
of their animals through fodder cultivation. Procuring small parcels of land on lease for fodder
cultivation would be a difficult proposition for individuals.
2005-2006: EMF as tool for planning and scaling up of proactive interventions
The third phase in the development of the EMF saw a further simplification of the EA tools to
make them usable by CRPs – the internal resource persons selected from within the SHGs. These
tools were also modified to make them usable in the context of micro credit plans of the SHGs and


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VOs. Field visits were made to a sample of livelihood activities supported by the IKP. However, the
focus of these visits was on initiating action for better environmental management. The issues
identified in the livelihood activities were discussed with the respective SHGs and VOs, the
possibility of adoption of better practices discussed and linkages built up with the respective line
departments for support. The reports were sent not only to the DRDA and SERP, they were sent
back to the visited VO documenting the good practices and issues identified, the recommendations
made, the action agreed upon and the relevant line departments from where further support could be
sought.
The proactive interventions were further scaled up to cover a larger geographical area. For
example, the NPM initiative was scaled up by IKP from 20,000 acres to about 1,59,000 acres spread
across seventeen districts of the state.
Factors of promotion and obstruction
A discussion on the factors that promoted the EMF intervention in the IKP will be useful for
similar initiatives in other areas as well.
Sustainable rural livelihoods requires sustainable management of local natural resources
The credit to the SHGs for income-generation activities is provided only in response to the
demand as expressed in the micro credit plans. The prominent income generation activities for which
credit is demanded include dairy, sheep rearing, agricultural input supply, and land/horticulture
development. Around 50% of the CIF is for agri-allied activities including milch animals and
sheep/goat rearing. Around 25% is for non-farm activities and 15% is for direct agricultural
activities. Thus, a majority are land-based livelihoods which are closely linked to the local natural
resource base. Sustainability of these livelihood activities will require sustainable management of the
local natural resources.
World Bank’s safeguard policy requirement of the EMF
The Operational Policy 4.01 of the World Bank requires environmental assessment (EA) of
projects proposed for Bank financing to help ensure that they are environmentally sound and
sustainable, and thus to improve decision making. Environmental Management Plan is one of the
instruments can be used to satisfy the Bank's EA requirement.
Partnerships
SERP has built strong partnerships with several non-governmental agencies. There are several
initiatives being implemented at various scales through the partnership mode. For example,
partnership with Solidaridad, ETC (an environmental consultancy and fair trade company) and Basix
(a microfinance institution) for organic cotton cultivation in one mandal (Kerameri mandal, Adilabad
district).
Cost effectiveness of practices and technologies promoted through proactive interventions
The adoption of a new practice or technology (or even the revival of an old one) depends on the
costs and savings (in terms of money, labour, time, etc.) involved in the adoption. For example,
through the NPM intervention, each participant farmer saves up to Rs. 2500 per acre on an average
(average across crops and across districts) per acre on pest management expenses. With more area
and more farmers coming into the program the saving will be higher (the ecological benefits such are
lesser pollution of water bodies, impact on non-target species, etc., would be enormous).
Community level resource persons
The IKP adopts the community-to-community approach to capacity building. Selected women
from the SHGs are identified as Community Resource Persons (CRPs). This approach has been


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extended to the EMF as well. The CRPs responsible for training the SHGs in micro credit plan
preparation have received training on the EMF. Each proactive intervention also involves the
identification and capacity building of CRPs who can provide continued technical extension support
to the IKP beneficiaries. For example, CRPs trained in the sustainable NTFP intervention not only
train the community in sustainable management practices, they also mobilize the SHGs for collective
marketing of the produce. As part of this intervention 380 CRPs and village botanists were trained by
IKP in sustainable extraction and marketing of NTFPs. These trained resource persons in turn have
provided training to over 20,000 women and men involved in NTFP collection. Refresher training is
provided to the NTFP collectors every year, one month before the NTFP collection season begins.
Several factors also presented a challenge to the implementation of the EMF. A discussion on
these factors will be useful for the future planning of the EMF in the context of IKP and in the
context of similar other initiatives.
Convergence with line departments
The EA process within the EMF entails identification of measures for mitigation of possible
negative impacts and enhancement of possible positive impacts on the environment. The
beneficiaries require support for adoption of these measures. Considering the scale of the IKP
(aiming to reach all the rural poor households in the state with a special focus on the 30 lakh poorest
of the poor households), such support can only be provided by convergence with the existing line
department machinery. Such convergence will provide the beneficiaries both access to extension
support as well as benefits from existing schemes that provide input subsidy. However, such
convergence is not easy to achieve.
Emphasis on EA as a necessary component of the micro credit planning
The EA process is to be viewed as an integral component of the appraisal process for the micro-
credit plans. Indeed, it is mentioned in the IKP documents (operational manual for CIF) as one of
the three components for appraisal of the Village Micro Plans (the three components are: (a)
institutional appraisal to assess the capacity of the VO to handle CIF, (b) appraisal of activities
figured in the VMP, and (c) environmental appraisal). However, it is not viewed as a critical
component of the micro credit plans at the district level, and is hence not being done in all cases.
Allocation of finances for EA facilitation
The implementation of the mitigation measures suggested as a result of the EA process may
require additional credit at the beneficiary level. The external and internal resource persons who are
involved in the EA process and the capacity building process to the community need to be paid for
their services. The additional financial resources required for this are a challenge that has affected the
implementation of the EA.



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REVIEW OF THE PROJECT FROM AN ESD PERSPECTIVE
MAINSTREAMING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT CONCERNS INTO POVERTY
REDUCTION
The IKP states that the following are the pre-requisites for a rural poor family to come out of
poverty:
• To be a member of an affinity group, the SHGs, for psychological confidence, strength
and collective action.
• Saving regularly, repaying to group on time.
• Securing financial assistance from the group for meeting emergency needs, consumption
needs and investments in assets – land, livestock, forest, housing, etc.
• Member and her family require support in education, health, nutrition and other basic
amenities.
• Building stronger and bigger institutions – VOs, MMSs – for tackling problems which
the affinity groups cannot handle.
• Multiple doses of support through the group. For coming out of poverty in a
comprehensive manner, each poor family would require Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 100,000 over a
period of 5-7 years.
• Financial support in different spells for strengthening and deepening existing livelihoods
and for diversification of livelihoods.
• Deepening livelihoods – support in enhancing productivity, inputs at economic costs
and marketing support for products and services.
• Build partnerships with financial, corporate, educational institutions and NGOs for
sustainability.
• Support from the group to bear downside risks.
• Access all essential services from Government.

Strengthening livelihoods and investment in assets is clearly part of the IKP strategy. The
livelihoods of the rural poor depend on local natural resources. Land, water sources, livestock and
forests are among the assets that they have or need access to in order to work towards sustainable
livelihoods. The EMF is a tool that fits into this paradigm.
“As understanding grew, there is widespread acceptance that environmental considerations are to be
mainstreamed in the project. A paradigm shift has been achieved in thinking of EMF as a
mandatory project requirement to understanding that it is necessary for good sub-project design and
planning.”
- Excerpt from Annual Report 2005, Department of Rural Development, Government of
Andhra Pradesh
SCALE AND IMPACT
There are several initiatives that are good examples of successful ESD (Education for Sustainable
Development) practice. However, most operate at a micro scale (a village or a group of villages). If
ESD has to make a substantial contribution in fostering SD – it must operate at larger scales. Scale is
possible only in partnership with existing governmental development machinery. The IKP through


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its EMF intervention provides ESD such a platform. It is one of the biggest community driven
poverty reduction programmes in the country. It works with 629,870 self help groups covering
36,829 village organizations spread across the state of Andhra Pradesh.
The scale of the project and the various stakeholders (SHGs, their federations, project
functionaries, line departments, etc.) who need to be involved to make it work present a challenge to
achieving impact of the EMF. The EA process of the EMF is yet to make a substantial impact at the
ground level, though it has shown results in areas where it has been pursued. It is yet to be integrated
into the project processes fully. The proactive interventions have had a sound start and are poised to
be scaled up significantly in the future.
Scaling up
The area under the NPM intervention facilitated by IKP and Centre for Sustainable Agriculture
was 23,381 acres in the agricultural season of 2005-2006. In 2006-2007, the plan is to scale up
to 250,000 acres. In the coming six years, the IKP hopes to reach 2,500,000 acres which is ten
percent of the state’s total cultivable area. IKP has also built linkages with the State Bank of India
for providing credit to farmers who adopt NPM.
CAPACITY BUILDING
ESD in the context of rural natural resource based livelihoods has to focus on providing skills in
efficient management of available resources and in viable alternatives that will ease pressure on
available resources. The EMF process has helped to identify the capacity building requirements of
specific SHG members in the context of the livelihood activities they are involved in. It has also
helped to provide skills in EA to the various project functionaries and to the CRPs.

“I always thought soil testing was a very complex thing to do. Now I have done soil testing on my
field (though the results are only indicative and not accurate). I feel happy and proud when I tell my
neighbours what the numbers printed on fertilizer bags mean and how much of which fertilizer they
need to apply.”
- B. Shantha, CRP, Dandumylaram (VO), Ibrahimpatnam mandal, Ranga Reddy district


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CONVERGENCE
The EMF enables convergence between the various departments in the Government machinery
in order to provide the requisite support to the SHG members to take up the suggested
interventions. The need for such convergence is not only identified at the District level, it also
emerges in a bottom-up manner from the SHGs as a result of the EA process.
Seeds of convergence
About 20 SHG members of the Khadarabad Gramaikhya Sangham (VO) in Prodduturu
mandal of Kadapa district had taken credit for purchase of buffaloes. The EMF process
recommended that fodder trees be grown to supplement the fodder requirement in the dry summer
months when green fodder would be scarce. The seed was procured from the nursery of the Forest
Department and distributed to each beneficiary.
In Salempalem of Koduru mandal in Krishna district, a training programme on fodder conservation
practices was organized for the SHG members following the EMF process. The veterinary doctor of
the Department of Animal Husbandary gave the training.
In Sathupally mandal in Khammam district and in Gambiraopet, Kohed and Ellanthakunta
mandals of Karimnagar district SHG members were involved in collecting forest produce (leaves
and neem seed) to supplement their income. However, they had not taken permission from the forest
department for collection and storage of the produce. Following the EMF process, the IKP
facilitated securing of permission from the respective Divisional Forest Officers. This has provided
right of access to the SHG members and has protected them from exploitation.
In Regulagadda (VO) of Machavaram mandal and Appapuram (VO) of Kakumanu mandal in
Guntur district the SHG members took credit from the CIF for purchase of agricultural inputs for
cotton. As use of pesticides is high in cotton, especially in Guntur district, the EMF process
recommended that the SHG members need to be provided training on integrated pest management
practices. The IKP arranged for this training through the mandal Agriculture Officer.
Without the IKP intervention it is difficult for the poor to access support (subsidized inputs,
training, permissions, etc.) from the line departments. The EMF process helps the IKP to identify
and meet the needs of SHG members from these available channels of support.



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APPENDIX 1
List of livelihood activities for which EA tools have been developed as part of the EMF:
Agricultural crops
Land development
Vegetable cultivation
Ground nut cultivation
Paddy cultivation
Irrigation bore well
Horticulture and forestry crops
Cashew nut cultivation
Eucalyptus plantations
Livestock rearing
Dairy
Sheep rearing
Poultry
Fishery
Small enterprises
Pottery
Brick making
Granite quarry works
Food products preparation
Forest based enterprise
NTFP collection
Bamboo products making
Wood chips cutting unit