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Poverty alleviation project pays off in Kolli Hills

“The project to ‘Alleviate Poverty and Malnutrition in Agro Biodiversity Hot Spots’ in Kolli Hills that is jointly implemented by the University of Alberta (UA), Canada, and M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), India, has progressed well in achieving its goals. It will be scaled up to benefit people living in similar conditions elsewhere,” Sara Ahmed of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), told The Hindu.

After visiting the project sites atop Kolli Hills on Tuesday and Wednesday, Ms. Ahmed said that the participation of people living in hamlets there as well as the local bodies was encouraging. Kolli Hills is among three places in India where the research project was launched in 2011.

It is funded by the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund, Government of Canada, through IDRC.

“Scaling up the project includes involving the government and private sector in addition to the present stakeholders — funding body, non-governmental organisations, people and local body — to make the project a sustainable one,” she added.

John J. Kennelly, Dean — Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences, UA, said that people from tribal communities who were living there had socio-economically benefited by the project.

“It has improved their intake of nutritious food to alleviate malnutrition and increased cash flow by improvising on their main source of income — agriculture,” he observed.


According to him, the project was successful in hamlets where it was introduced at Kolli Hills as the people were given the opportunity to choose from the food and cash crops that were offered to them to grow, which was the major part of the project.

“Trials with varieties of paddy (from which people could choose the best) were affected by poor rainfall last year and this challenge will be discussed in the project review meeting in Chennai on Thursday,” he added.

The team inaugurated a pulveriser unit and seed bank on Wednesday.

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