How we work
Step 1 The initial development process
The process towards empowerment of the rural poor starts by getting to know the village leadership of a particular village and then sitting down with men and women of the village to identify the status where they are living in at the moment. A method called “PRA” , meaning Participatory Rural Appraisal ( this is an old anthropological concept ) is practiced by the staff of PALM 2 and is especially suitable for people with no or low literacy levels. Several PRA tools are existing to identify the social situation, the wealth in a village, the crops they grow and during which season, the priorities in development, the resources they have and which other institutes, Government Departments or other NGOs are most important to them.
The method is relaxed and non confronting, everybody is involved in the exercise and people become enthusiastic, because they are asked to give their opinion.
The event happens usually outside, all information is being drawn in the sand/soil and natural things like leaves, stones, sticks, pulses, are being utilized to indicate resources, locations and other information. This method makes it easy to find out about : the number of very poor and of the middle class families, the number of houses, the location and flow of the water sources , the location of major and minor roads, the crops being grown, the most important and influential institutions present.
The drawings are transferred to real paper and an initial report is drawn up then the people’s own findings are presented to them and by them. From that stage the planning for a change commences.
A provisional action plan is usually prepared at this stage together with the target groups.
Awareness programs are given on the vision of PALM 2 and how the village can be part and parcel of the PALM 2 development process. Their involvement is assured.
Step 2 From group formation to Farmers Producer Companies
Small farmers interest groups and joint liabilitiy groups (JLG’s) of interested women or men are being formed.
Training programs are given in how to run a group, how to administer the finances, how to write minutes of the meetings, and also in communication and basic right issues. The group commences internal loans from the group savings. The main purpose is to form an umbrella for longterm sustainability .
What is an FPO :
An FPO is the umbrella of 60 – 65 Farmers Interest Groups of 10 – 20 members per group, who will register under a Government Company Act and are trained to manage their own administration and marketing affairs . Loans can be obtained for infrastructural development .
A period of 5 – 7 years is needed to change the total attitude and dependency syndrome into self reliant and empowered people with own leadership.
PALM 2 achieved up to end of 2015 :
Women Self help groups 471
Male groups 113
Functioning CBO’s 5
VDC’s 7 (Village Dev. Committees) NABARD Farmers Clubs 56
Tea Smallgrowers Associations 18
Joint Liability Groups( JLG) 216
Farmers Interest Groups 62
Farmers Producer Companies 1