The high cost of agricultural production, low yields and indebtness have exacerbated the woes of farmers in the Vidharbha region in Maharashtra state, resulting in farmer distress. The Sukhi Baliraja Initiative (SBI), launched by the Trusts in 2008, seeks to implement holistic livelihood solutions to mitigate farmer distress. The programme reaches out to over 25,600 households across 320 villages in the six districts of Yavatmal, Amravati, Washim, Akola, Wardha and Buldhana.
The Trusts have joined hands with the Convergence of Agricultural Interventions in Maharashtra (CAIM), the Maharashtra government’s bilateral project backed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Together, they aim to reach out to 286,000 households across 1,200 villages in six districts under SBI’s purview. The SBI-CAIM programme focuses on sustainable agriculture, rainwater harvesting, water resource development and community-based microfinance and marketing. The programmes are routinely monitored for their impact and progress at various levels by in-house and external agencies.