Central Himalayan Livestock Initiative

Himmotthan Society, a nodal organisation of the Tata Trusts, operationalised the Central Himalayan Livestock initiative (CHLI) to enhance the livelihoods of rural communities through livestock and micro-finance focused programmes. The objective is to enhance the quality of life of over 100,000 households through self-sustained community institutions and sustainable, resilient livelihood interventions through an integrated programme.

The primary beneficiaries of the CHLI initiative are women. One of the dairy products made by women in Uttarakhand is a thickened milk product called khoa. However, the lack of adequate market linkages to sell khoa left the women with negligible income.

The CHLI team formed a women-led cooperative called the Shyama Devi Self Reliant Cooperative (SRC) that aimed to improve the income of all its members through better livestock management. CHLI introduced improved breeds of cattle, better management techniques and marketing strategies, awareness of artificial insemination, and improved market linkages. SRC members were trained in standard operating procedures for the preparation of khoa, as also how to prepare popular local sweets such as balmithai and chocolate barfi. They were taught book-keeping, keeping records and inventory management so as to manage the business to their advantage.

CHLI’s training and support taught the women to manage their time better on a daily basis. There was transparency in accounting, direct access to markets as well as to the revenue generated by sales.
By December 2017, SRC counted 89 women as shareholders. The cooperative’s total income in 2018 was approximately Rs670,000. Himmotthan Society further enhances the income of these women by helping SRC to sells other products (like Tata Tea) with the help of Trishuli Producer Company, an apex-level community institution also formed and promoted by Himmotthan.

Apart from this, approximately Rs10 million was funded by the central government’s rural employment scheme (MNREGA) for planting fodder, renovating cattle sheds and constructing sheds for goats and poultry.

Area of Operation: Uttarakhand

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