Alternative Livelihood

Diversifying the existing means of income, PAD provides short term skill trainings for youth (so far 200 participants) in crab and lobster fattening, oyster development, fish pickling and preserving and computer training (5 different level).

Animal husbandry: Insurance of the poor:

The distribution of animals, coupled with the availability of veterinary services at the doorstep, is stabilizing the livelihoods of vulnerable poor and improving the social status of women headed households. Focused training given to beneficiaries has resulted in better management of animals. The goat distribution program in particular has enabled asset creation and ownership, with empowerment and increased bargaining power among very poor women. Repayments in the goat distribution program have been near perfect so far.

Alternate employment and training:

The training inputs offered to barefoot vets (44) and engine repairers (40) demonstrated the possibilities of new, alternate entrepreneurial initiatives in this region and successfully addressed the under-employment situation through supplementary income activity for fisher folk and Palmyrah tappers. The presence of these newly trained entrepreneurs within the community has also contributed to a demystification of these “technical” inputs usually provided by men and encouraged the community to rely on local resource persons, irrespective of sex, to successfully solve their problems: Due to barefoot vets mortality rate of animals in serviced areas has decreased from 30% to 5%, and there has been control of outbreaks of common diseases.

Boat engine repairers also proved their utility by attending to urgent repairs in the village and at sea. Their incomes are inadequate as yet, and need to be still supplemented by regular work, i.e. fishing.

Introduction of subsistence level animal husbandry

After concept development, the following methods were used: Transfer of technology through trainings, distribution of animals, and, protection against diseases through treatment by developing barefoot vets. The Trainings was exhaustive and covered all important aspects of animal care. It was conducted by personnel from the team as well as from the Animal Husbandry Department. Live exposures also added to the richness of the training. Field checks indicated high absorption of the learning and accurate follow-up of recommended practices at beneficiary homes and stables. Choice of beneficiaries for animal distribution was left to the Village Development Committees and Livelihoods Groups, and it is visible that the most poor and the economically weakest (widows, disable, women headed families) have been targeted and prioritized.

Goat distribution has also been accompanied by the planting of two fodder trees in the compound to assure feed during the drought months. Insurance back-up for each distributed large animal was also achieved through a tie-up. The barefoot veterinarian training program has successfully inducted 44 persons (1/3 women) into a new occupation that incorporates concern for animals with the use of modern drugs and vaccines to combat diseases. The training program was backed by regular examination of the understanding of the trainees and field follow up of their activity in the beginning until their confidence was established. All animals are purchased by the beneficiaries through a long term soft loan from their LHG, and the repayments are also tracked by the community. These inflows enable others to emulate the pioneers and possess animals of their own. The indigenous treatment with herbals is being integrated with the modern treatment