A tribal development project of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) aimed at providing sustainable livelihood for residents of habitations of Pachamalai hills in Tiruchi and Salem districts has got under way.

The NABARD has taken up the project with an outlay of Rs. 6.99 crore, which would include a grant of Rs. 5.85 crore and the rest to be disbursed as loan.

The project to be implemented in association with Hand in Hand, a non-governmental organisation, is aimed at preventing migration of the residents of the habitations to urban areas in search of employment by ensuring sustainable livelihood in their place of living.

Although the Pachamalai hill receives about 1,200 mm of annual rainfall, farmers in the hills were unable to harvest the rainfall and often sustain losses because of landslides and erosion. The project seeks to adopt integrated natural resources management and extend support for farm activities such as raise cashew and mango plantations.