Livelihood Promotion Programmes

1. Farmers First – Enhancing Livelihood of Marginal Farmers (2022- 2026)

Farmers First Programme is co-founded by Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives (APPI), Bengaluru under CSR and Govt. of Uttarakhand. This Programme promises the enhancement of farmers income from Agriculture and Allied Activities through support in seed preservation and crop management, modern farm tools, innovative and sustainable farming methods, creating minor irrigation structures and value addition to farmers produce through processing of selected native crops. The project covers over 4000 households in 40 Gram Panchayats of Narendra Nagar and Devprayag Blocks of Tehri Garhwal district.

Major Objectives of APPI Farmers First Project :

  • 1. Promoting High Value Crops Production of Off Season Vegetables and Spices through organic seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.
  • 2. Enhancing production of Traditional Crops - Millets, Pulses, and oil seeds through improved cropping methods, high yeild seeds and better crop management practices.
  • 3. Modernizing Agriculture and Improving Irrigation Infrastructure for enhanced crop production and creating surplus for marketing.
  • 4. Promoting Allied Income Generation Activities for farmers through Mushroom Farming, Poultry and plantation of Herbal and aromatic plants.
  • 5. Developing Fodder Banks to Enhance Fodder Production for cattle and reduce women drudgery in fodder scarcity villages.
  • 6. Developing Food Forests around villages to provide food and shelter to wild animals and there by reducing destruction of standing crops of farmers.

2. Integrated Livelihood Enhancement Project (ILEP)

Integrated Livelihood Enhancement Project (ILEP) is implemented for enhancing the livelihood opportunities for the local community in 20 dam affected villages of Bhilangna and Jakhnidhar Blocks of Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. The project is co funded by THDCIL, Rishikesh and Department of Agriculture, Tehri Garhwal as a convergence project. The project focuses on community mobilization, promoting integrated farming systems including agriculture, horticulture, fodder development, animal husbandry and creation of sustainable assets for promoting sustainable agriculture growth in the area. The prime success of the project is the convergence of funds and support from different line departments at the local and district level viz. Horticulture Department, Veterinary Department, Health Department and Education Department with SEWA THDC and Department of Agriculture, Tehri Garhwal as the prime funders of the project.

Major Objectives of ILEP Project :

  • 1. To promote 150 Farmers Groups and 3 Federations/ Cooperatives (1 each for 100 Farmer Groups) in the project villages for strengthening the community and mobilizing them for project activities.
  • 2. To improve the present agriculture productivity of farmers through introduction of high yield seeds, modernizing the crop cultivation techniques, improving the pre and post harvest management methods.
  • 3. To introduce value addition methods of farm produce by improving packaging and processing of produce at local level.
  • 4. To provide adequate infrastructure for collection, storage, packaging and marketing of farm produce.
  • 5. To enhance cultivation of selected fruit crops and medicinal and aromatic plants on the cultivable wastelands of farmers for generating additional source of income.
  • 6. To improve animal husbandry by improving the animal health care, provision of cattle feed and poultry for allied income activity of the farmers.
  • 7. To provide skill training to the members and youth on need basis for promoting employment and self - employment to villagers.
  • 8. To ensure community contribution in the project through social mobilization and convergence with line departments for delivery of government oriented schemes to villagers for agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, drinking water and sanitation, skill training etc.

3. Model Village Project

Model Village Project was designed as a pilot project for village Gujrada in Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Major emphasis of this project was to develop a model of sustainable rural development including improved farming, water harvesting, horticulture, crop protection and animal husbandry as interventions for livelihood for the local people. The pilot project was implemented as convergence project with support of SEWA - THDC and Department of Agriculture with community contribution of the people as a significant part of project fund. All project activities were directly implemented through the local people in the villages who contributed through labour as their share of project funding.

Major Objectives of Model Village Project :

  • 1. To assess the needs of the local farmers in selected villages for developing a participatory model of Integrated Rural Development.
  • 2. To design and implement selected interventions of rural livelihoods in the villages including Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry and Eco Tourism etc.
  • 3. To ensure community ownership and participation in the project activities for sustainability of the interventions.
  • 4. To develop a Model Village of Rural Livelihood Promotion for mobilization and awareness building of farmers in other areas through exposure visits.

  • Major Achievements of Model Village Project :

  • 1. 2 Km. Fencing work in Gujrada and Kaljauti villages for crop protection of farmers.
  • 2. 1500 Fruit Plantation in Gujrada and Kaljauti villages.
  • 3. Construction of 3 LDPE Tanks and 2 Irrigation tanks for water harvesting.
  • 4. Distribution of 75 Goats to Farmers for livelihood on 50% subsidy cost.
  • 5. Distribution of Chaff Cutters, Sprinklers and Spray Machines to Farmers at subsidized rates.

4. Uttarakhand Livelihood Improvement Program (ULIPH) -(2006-2012)

VARDAN, as a Field NGO, is implementing the ‘Livelihood Improvement Project in Himalayas’ (ULIPH) also known as “Aajeevika Pariyojana” with an objective to promote livelihood opportunities for the rural poor in Dev Prayag Block of Tehri Garhwal District, Uttarakhand. The project funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through Uttarakhand Gramya Vikas Samiti (UGVS), a unit of Dept. of Rural Development, Uttarakhand is implemented since 2006. The Dobri Cluster was handed over to the Federation in May,2011 while in Bhatkot Cluster the activities were implemented by VARDAN in coordination with DMU, Chamba

5. Integrated Livelihood Support Programe ( ILSP) in Pauri Division– (2017- 21)

VARDAN received financial support from IFAD and Watershed Management Directorate, Uttarakhand in September, 2018 for the implementation of ILSP Project in Pabo and Ekeshwar Block of Pauri Garhwal. The project entered the second year of implementation with prime focus on strengthening the Federations and promoting their business activities. Emphasis was on enhancing the agricultural productivity through technical and innovative interventions viz. high yield seeds varieties, scientific cultivation methods, pre and post-harvest management, use of fallow land, fodder development. Use and sustenance of the LDPE Tanks for irrigation of terrace lands, Small and Big Collection Centres for collection, grading and packaging of the farmers produce at Cluster Level was ensured to increase the business of the SHGs/PGs through their Federations. Market linkage of the produce was ensured for the Federations at both local and outside destinations thrOugh regular market survey and buyers –sellers meets.

6. Integrated Livelihood Support Programe ( ILSP) in Kaljikhal Block, Pauri – (2016- 20)

Integrated Livelihood Support Programme (ILSP), supported by IFAD and UGVS, Uttarakhand entered in the third year of the implementation in Kaljikhal Block of Pauri Garhwal. Prime focus in this year was on enhancing the agricultural productivity through technical and innovative interventions viz. high yield seeds varieties, scientific cultivation methods, pre and post-harvest management, use of fallow land, fodder development and introduction of Aromatic and Herbal Plantations on fallow lands. The project being implemented through 6 Livelihood Collectives (LCs) promoted by organization as Self Reliant Cooperatives (SRCs) at Cluster Level for facilitating collection, grading, packaging and marketing of the Producer Groups produce to markets. All Federations were capacitated and empowered to take up the business activities for their affiliated Producer groups with help of the VARDAN team. Regular market visits of Federations and Buyers Sellers Meets were organized to ensure market linkage of the produce. Outlets were opened at Cluster level besides the weekly haats organized by Federations for marketing of the farmers produce at local level.

7. Integrated Livelihood Support Programe ( ILSP) in Pokhri Block, Chamoli District (2017- 20)

Integrated Livelihood Support Project (ILSP) in Pokhril block of Chamoli district continued for 3 years. The project is implemented through 6 Livelihood Collectives (LCs) promoted by organization as Self Reliant Cooperatives (SRCs) at Cluster Level for facilitating collection, grading, packaging and marketing of the Producer Groups produce to markets. These SRCs are empowered to serve as institutions for serving the Producer Groups at village level. Major focus of interventions was on strengthening these Federations for business activities in farm and non - farm sectors to enhance the income opportunities for the local community. The technical team of VARDAN provided all technical and marketing support to the Federations for both enhancing the agriculture production in the area and providing market linkage for the produce. Local outlets were opened through Federations and weekly Haats were organized at cluster level to sell the local farmers produce. Major Activities Undertaken in the ILSP Project include : Strengthening of 6 Self Reliant Cooperatives/ Federations of PGs/VPGs at Cluster Level ; Capacity Building of 388 PGs/VPGs and SRCs in Good Governance, Business Development, Scientific Methods of Cultivation, Product Packaging and Marketing ; Identification of 6 Value Chains including Spices, Off Season Vegetables (OSV), Traditional Crops and Pulses, Dairy and Goatry ; Business Development Activities for the 6 Federations/Cooperatives and market linkage, Use of Fallow Land through plantation of fruit trees, fodder trees and grasses, Construction of 100 LDEP Tanks, 20 Small Collection Centres and 6 Collection Centres, Vocational Training Programmes for Rural Youth to promote employment opportunities.

8. uttarakhand forest resource management project (jica)

Uttarakhand Forest Resource Management Project (UFRMP) also known as JICA Project is being implementd in Alaknanda Soil Conservation Forest Division area of Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. This project focuses on promotion of sustainable livelihood opportunities for the targeted Van Panchayats through community mobilization, micro planning and enhancement of existing livelihood avenues in the area through technical, financial and market support. It also emphasizes on the promotion of soil conservation measures to control environmental degradation and increase vegetal coverage through plantations in the villages.

1. Major Objectives :

  • 1. To mobilise the local community especially the landless and women and organise them into SHGs and Federations for socio economic empowerment and sustainability of project deliverables beyond the project period.
  • 2. To prepare Micro Plans for target Van Panchayats based on existing forest based and agri based resources, Livelihood Analysis data for improved, innovative and sustainable agricultural, horticultural and silvi - pastoral practices and sub sector value chains to enhance the livelihood opportunities of local communities.
  • 3. Training and Capacity Building support to Van Panchayat and SHGs/Federations and Forest Personnel for knowledge and skill up-gradation in managing the forests and agri based livelihood interventions.
  • 4. Planning and implementing site specific technical and scientific forestry interventions including soil and moisture conservation, utilising the degraded and waste lands for silvi - pastoral purpose, MAPs cultivation and block plantation of indigenous species in degraded/ blank patches.
  • 5. Dissemination of Improved and Innovative Agriculture Practices related to Crop Management, Post-Harvest techniques at Cluster level to facilitate adoption of cluster level approach by SHGs for bulk production and collective marketing.
  • 6. Setting Up Small and Micro- Enterprises for the value addition of the forest and non- forest based produce for additional source of income of SHGs.
  • 7. Liasoning with other link Departments/Institutions viz. KVKs, Agriculture Universities, Research Centres for support and participation in project activities.

9. Swarna Jayanti Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)-(2000-2006)

The project focused on promoting livelihood opportunities for BPL Families in rural areas through over 500 Self Help Groups in Dehradun , Tehri Garhwal and Pauri Garhwal districts of Uttarakhand . Major livelihood initiatives included Dairy , Poultry , Off Season Vegetables , Sericulture , Floriculture , Micro Enterprises etc . The selg help groups were provided micro finance from DRDAs and the Nationalised banks on back ended subsidy basis. Market support for the SHGs produce was provided by VARDAN.s


VARDAN implemented "JEEVIKA AWSAR SUDHAR PARIYOJANA" for the mentally challenged women residing in Govt. Nari Niketan, Dehradun. The project benefited 20 women besides the production of Scent Sticks which was marketed by the organisation in local markets. The income generated from sale was distributed to the trainees as an additional source of income. Several Traning Programmes in Tailoring & Dress making were also conducted in Haridwar District for the SC & Minority Women in the year 2009-10 & 2010-11.

11. Vocational Training Cum Production Programme (2004-08)

VARDAN with support from Dept. of Social Welfare Uttarakhand, KVIC, Uttarakhand Bahuudeshiya Vitta Vikas Nigam,NBCFC etc.has conducted several Training Programmes for girls, women , unemployed youth and distressed women in varous parts of Uttarakhand. The Training programmes were conducted in various Trades including the support for placement of the trainees.