Livelihood Promotion - Non Timber Forest Produce
The NTFP scenario in Kerala is unique, complex and intriguing. Enabling business environment and business services are the crucial factors to boost up community‐based enterprises in NTFP but beneficiaries being forest dwellers see a lack of investment‐friendly environment in the NTFPs sector. The Scheduled Tribe micro entrepreneurs with little capital investment generally do not set up a business without outside assistance, both in terms of finance and technology. Despite restrictive regulatory environment, there are some cases of successful NTFPs enterprises in Kerala. But their success is questionable in the long‐run given the unfavorable business environment that prevails in the forestry sector. Marketing system and structure are disadvantageous to the collectors. Lack of reliable market information – demand, supply, prices & markets, unsustainable harvesting methods, trade of raw or semi processed products are the major factors which hinder the community from receiving returns. Under NRLM, Kudumbashree envisages to support this purely un-organised sector.
Social & Financial Inclusion
In order to ensure that no poor family is left out, NRLM use differential strategies for social inclusion of identified rural poor households into functionally effective and self-managed institutions, with particular focus on more vulnerable sections like Scheduled Tribes (STs), Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and communities living in coastal areas etc. NRLM provides Revolving Fund and Community Investment Fund (CIF) as Resources in Perpetuity to the institutions of the poor, to strengthen their institutional and financial management capacity and build their track record to attract mainstream bank finance. NRLM also provides Revolving Fund (RF) to NHGs of Rs.10,000-15,000 as corpus to meet the members’ credit needs directly and as catalytic capital for leveraging repeat bank finance. RF is given to NHGs that have been practicing ‘Panchasutra’ (Regular meetings; Regular savings; regular inter-loaning; Timely repayment; and Up-to-date books of accounts). NRLM provides Community Investment Fund as Seed Capital to NHG Federations at Cluster level to meet the credit needs of the members through the NHGs/Village Organizations and to meet the working capital needs of the collective activities at various levels. NRLM also provides Vulnerability Reduction Fund (VRF) to NHG Federations at Village level to address vulnerabilities like food security, health security etc., and to meet the needs of the vulnerable persons in the village.