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Tata Steel Foundation

Knowledge Documentation and Publications For Agriculture


Content / Publication

About The Project

The Tata Steel Foundation initiated a series of livelihood programs in Jharkhand and Odisha, focusing on sustainable development and empowerment of local communities. These programs, varied in nature, aimed at enhancing the economic and social well-being of individuals through skill development, technical support, and resource optimization. 


  • WADI Orchard Program: The WADI Orchard Program was a significant initiative targeted at transforming uncultivated wastelands into productive horticultural plantations. It emphasized horticulture and intercropping techniques, providing farmers with land resources and training to develop orchards. The program also focused on livelihood activities for landless farmers, offering them avenues to participate in the agricultural economy. The strategic approach under this program aimed to combat rural impoverishment and improve the financial status of farmers. 

  • Pond Based Integrated Farming System (IFS): The Pond Based Integrated Farming System was designed to optimize the use of water resources in farming practices. This program integrated various components such as fish farming, livestock and poultry management, and vegetable cultivation. By leveraging pond ecosystems, the program sought to increase the annual income of farmers significantly. It provided training and support to farmers for effective implementation of integrated farming techniques, enhancing their skills and knowledge base. 

  • Lac Cultivation Program: In the Lac Cultivation Program, Tata Steel Foundation focused on the cultivation of lac, a resin used for making varnishes and food glazes. This initiative involved the establishment of forest orchards and training farmers in lac cultivation techniques. The program aimed to strengthen water resource management and soil moisture content, thereby enhancing the overall yield and quality of lac. The project also included institutional strengthening efforts to support farmers through the cultivation process. 

  • Tasar Cultivation: The Tasar Cultivation initiative was geared towards the production of Tasar silk. This program involved training farmers in scientific rearing methods and the utilization of host plants for Tasar cultivation. It aimed to improve the livelihoods of rearers by enhancing their technical skills and providing support in seed zone development, yarn production, and market linkages. 

  • Dairy Management Program: The Dairy Management Program focused on developing a comprehensive dairy value chain. This included livestock enhancement through the provision of cross-breed milch animals, establishment of milk producers' cooperative societies for efficient milk collection, and integration of bulk milk coolers for storage and transportation. The program also introduced innovative solutions like milk ATMs for direct marketing, ensuring quality milk availability and fair pricing for farmers. 

  • Watershed Management: The Tata Steel Foundation's watershed management project in Jharkhand, in collaboration with NABARD, incorporates advanced techniques for sustainable agriculture and water conservation. Key highlights include the construction of 28 farm ponds in Noamundi, creating 1.79 million cubic feet of water storage, and extensive soil and moisture conservation across 1150 hectares in Kukru, improving water retention and reducing erosion. The project has transformed 18.31 hectares into Mango and Guava orchards in the Kuiani watershed, incorporating micro-drip irrigation systems to optimize water use. It also focuses on community empowerment, with 100 women in Kuiani engaging in various income-generating activities. Additionally, 832 farmers received specialized training in watershed management in Noamundi. These efforts not only enhance agricultural productivity but also contribute significantly to environmental health and local socio-economic development. 


Each of these programs was tailored to address specific needs of the communities in Jharkhand and Odisha, underlining Tata Steel Foundation’s commitment to sustainable livelihood development and community empowerment. Through these initiatives, the Foundation aimed to create a substantial impact on the economic and social fabric of these regions, fostering a model of development that could be replicated in other rural areas.

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Services Provided

UIL (Urban Innovation Lab), appointed for the extensive documentation and assessment of Tata Steel Foundation's (TSF) livelihood programs, executed this task with remarkable depth and precision. The agency's commitment involved over 100 hours of research and 50+ hours of stakeholder interactions, translating into a substantial library of documents, manuals, and case studies. 

  • WADI Orchard Program: UIL meticulously documented the transformation of 500 acres of wasteland into flourishing horticultural plantations under the WADI program. The documentation highlighted significant financial upliftment, with many beneficiaries earning an annual profit of approximately INR 110,000. UIL produced a comprehensive project document, and 16 detailed beneficiary case studies, showcasing the program's impact on rural impoverishment. 

  • Pond Based Integrated Farming System: In this program, UIL's in-depth analysis revealed a considerable increase in farmer's incomes, averaging up to INR 75,000 annually. The team documented various components, including livestock and poultry management, vegetable production, and community engagement. The extensive research encompassed existing reports and data analysis sheets of 9,000 farmers, culminating in a detailed project document and a comprehensive training manual. UIL produced a comprehensive project document, 500 pager training manual in hindi and 20+ detailed beneficiary case studies, showcasing the program's impact on rural impoverishment. 

  • Lac Cultivation Program: UIL's documentation of the Lac Cultivation Program included a thorough analysis of the strategic approaches, objectives, and the establishment of forest orchards. They compiled 16 in-depth farmer case studies and developed a 300-page training manual, covering critical aspects of lac cultivation. 

  • Tasar Cultivation Project: In this project, UIL presented a detailed account of the technical and financial assistance provided by TSF. Their documentation covered the advanced Tasar cultivation practices and comprehensive value chain development, including the establishment of Tasar corridors and yarn production units. 

  • Dairy Management Program: UIL provided a comprehensive narrative of the dairy management value chain, detailing livestock enhancement, the establishment of cooperative societies, and the innovation of milk ATMs. Their documentation also included 25 farmer case studies and a 300-page training manual for dairy farmers. 

  • Watershed Management Project: In the watershed management project, UIL's documentation highlighted the construction of 28 farm ponds in Noamundi, creating a water storage capacity of 1.79 million cubic feet. They documented extensive soil and moisture conservation efforts across 1150 hectares in Kukru, improving water retention and reducing erosion. The transformation of 18.31 hectares into Mango and Guava orchards in the Kuiani watershed was detailed, showcasing the implementation of micro-drip irrigation systems. UIL also highlighted the empowerment of 100 women in Kuiani through income-generating activities and the specialized training of 832 farmers in watershed management. 


In each project, UIL’s approach was grounded in statistical rigor and comprehensive analysis, ensuring that each document, manual, and case study not only provided an in-depth understanding of TSF's initiatives but also underscored the impact of these sustainable agriculture practices on the communities.

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