The DS Group is also working towards enhancing the livelihood of underprivileged communities by improving existing economic activities through value added services. Currently Agriculture and Livestock-based activities have been identified as focus areas.
Project Manthan focuses on improving Dairy output and enhance milk productivity in rural households. The project is currently going on in nearly 90 villages in Dungarpur and Sikar District of Rajasthan, providing artificial insemination (AI) services and veterinary care through trained livestock assistants. The project is also building the capacity of dairy farmers to take up better cattle management practices for higher yield. The company has identified 240 Champion Farmers from each of 48 targeted villages in Dungarpur and 100 Champion farmers in Sikar district, who are adopting new approaches to enhance milk productivity that include improved feed and fodder practices, scheduled vaccinations, regular veterinary treatment, improved sheds for cattle, procuring better breeds for higher milk production and adopting artificial insemination for improving the breed of existing livestock. These Champion farmers are projected as role models for others to follow.
DS Group is working with coriander growing farmers to build their capacity through improved cultivation practices and post-harvest processing technology for better crop yield and price realization in Jhalawar (Rajasthan). The company will set up a post-harvest cleaning and grading unit as a part of this project with an objective to market the product directly to industrial buyers, leading to better sale prices for farmers. The project is being implemented through the Gram Unnati Foundation.
Rubber Tappers Training Program
A rubber trappers training program was undertaken to enhance the skills of the tribals in Tripura in scientific latex extraction, which increases the rubber yield and minimizes the damage to the rubber plant. A total of 17 training program were organized in which, approximately 411 unskilled and semi skilled rubber tappers were trained. The improvement in average income was mapped at 60.74% comparatively post the training.
Other than the above, the “Singpho Eco Lodge” was constructed in 2009 by the Singpho community with assistance from DS Group in Inthong village, Magherita. This project was undertaken by DS Group to generate employment for the Singpho tribal community to make them self reliant and financially independent.