GUWAHATI, March 6 - A scoping study carried out by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) on livelihood generation for the flood-hit people of the State, has recommended development of livelihood activities that are economically and environmentally sustainable.
The report of the study says, �Livelihood programming must result in economically sustainable activities to be undertaken by the beneficiary community or households. Such activities must yield surplus products and services as required in accessible markets��
It has suggested cultivation of early and late varieties of vegetables during the dry season for sale in accessible markets at remunerative prices; cultivation of pulses and oilseeds, which are in perpetual deficit in Assam and also in the country, leading to large scale imports so far; cultivation of viable crops like ground nuts, melons, pumpkins etc., in sand deposited areas and cultivation of banana.
It further suggested development of value-added products based on the above crops, such as banana chips, edible oil from mustard and ground nut etc.,, to meet existing and emerging markets.
It has also suggested identification of the viable economic activities through the exercises like market analysis and value chain studies. It called for cluster development activities, development of economically oriented institutions, promotion of social entrepreneurs, provision of reasonably priced financial services and promotion of financial literacy among the people, among others.
It says implementation of the livelihood generation related schemes should be carried out in coordination with the Government agencies working at the village level and the NGOs or the donor agencies active in the flood-affected areas.
Moreover, it says it is necessary that the objectives of the entire livelihood generation programme should be communicated to the stakeholders regularly to avoid misconceptions and wrong expectations at the field level.
The study named �Scoping Analysis on Livelihood Generation for Recovery� was undertaken with special emphasis on agriculture sector, under a Government of India and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project for enhancing institutional and community resilience to disaster and climate change.
Nandita Hazarika, State Project Officer ASDMA, told this newspaper that the study has specified the Government�s intervention areas, specially in the agriculture sector. It has provided enough insight into the area of economic rehabilitation of the affected people, which has remained a complex area for quite a long time for the Government as well as the agencies working for mitigating the adverse impacts of floods.
The report states that floods force the affected households to relocate during the havoc periods. Afterwards, efforts have to be made for reconstruction and protection of assets. All the above divert the household members from their usual vocations and interfere with their ability to work, not only during the flood period but also during the aftermath.
Disasters like floods adversely affect the livelihoods of the affected households and communities. They deprive the people of their sources of employment or reduce their ability to raise income, and thus diminish, permanently or temporarily, their capacity to make a living. The recurrence of floods has a significant impact upon the existing livelihood strategies too of the households and communities, the report says.