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Agriculture and Forestry

Sector >> Agriculture and Forestry

The natural resource sector is confronted with several diverse and challenging issues ranging from ecological balance, food security, resource ownership and stewardship, which are highly contentious and emotive for stakeholders. The policies and effective management of natural resources must ensure a fine balance in conservation and economic use of resources in the interest of future generations.

Our work in the natural resource management sector has contributed positively towards the efforts of our partners and clients in achieving this fine balance and in strengthening stewardship. We specialize in providing technical assistance and project management support, designing innovative research, monitoring and evaluation, training and capacity building, conducting policy reviews, economic analysis, strengthening of community institutions for participatory resource management, and using technology and GIS for resource mapping in the domains of forestry, land, agriculture and allied sectors, and watershed management to assist our partners in efficient utilization and conservation of natural resources.

Select Work in Agriculture and Forestry

Project Management Consulting in consortium with Nippon Koei for JICA supported Odisha Forestry Sector Development Project (OFSDP)

2007 - 2014

Technical and Communication Strategy Agency for Orissa Forestry Sector Support Project (OFSSP)

2006 - 2008

Considering the need for enhancing the livelihood options of the people living in forest fringe areas and rejuvenating degraded forests, the Odisha Government launched the INR 660 Cr. JICA Odisha Forestry Sector Development Project (OFSDP). The project aimed to restore degraded forests and improve the income level of villagers by promoting sustainable forest management including JFM plantation and community / tribal development, thereby improving environment and alleviating poverty. This seven-year project was being implemented in 11 Forest and 3 Wildlife Divisions of Orissa. The project works were divided into seven components; namely (i) Preparatory works, (ii) Strengthening of Executive Body (EB), (iii) Community / tribal development, (iv) Restoration of degraded forests, (v) Costal plantation, (vi) Biodiversity management and (vii) Supporting activities such as infrastructure development, M&E, communication, forest research and publicity.

Sutra Consulting was part of the general consulting consortium which provided Project Management Consulting service spread over a period of seven years and aimed to assist the Executive Body with overall technical and managerial aspects as well as policy initiative relating to program implementation. Our experts were part of the key staffs at the Project Management Unit as well as at the field offices spread across the project. Our experts provided technical assistance to the EB in process improvement, specifying procedures for project implementation at Project Management Unit (PMU), Divisional Management Units (DMU), and Field Management Units (FMU) and VSS levels, technical support in thematic areas like livelihood, Capacity Building, MIS, M&E and biodiversity conservation and assistance to EB in organizing State/ National level and international training and exposure visits of the Project functionaries at different levels. Our experts assisted the Project to successfully emerge as one of the prominent JICA forestry projects with completion of large scale training of personnel, establishment of GIS based monitoring system, initiation of eco-tourism activities at multiple sites and preparation of several knowledge products in the Project.

DFID India was providing support to the Government of Orissa (GoO) to implement the Industrial Policy Resolution 2001 (IPR) with a view to improving the climate for socially and environmentally responsible investment and enterprise development. In implementing the IPR, GoO intends to focus upon the forestry sector as one of three key sectors which can contribute towards pro-poor growth and significantly enhance employment opportunities and revenue generation in the state. Forestry was one of the key sectors identified for as having maximum potential for impacting on pro poor growth. DFID provided support in the forest of the Project; Orissa Forestry Sector Support Project (OFSSP) to Orissa Forest Department to achieve this goal.

Sutra Consulting was part of the consortium consultants selected by the DFID to provide technical and management support to Orissa Forest Department. Our experts provided full range of management and technical support in four areas; policy and strategic planning, Change Management and HRD, design and implementation of communication strategy and pilot projects. Our experts designed several terms of references and conducted studies and established functional pilot projects in multitude of sectors including eco-development, eco-tourism, Non Timber Forest Produce, medicinal plants and bamboo among others. Our inputs facilitated the Department establish a HR database, revision of forest code, and other HR changes in forest administration.

Monitoring and Evaluation of Maharashtra Agricultural Competitiveness Project (MACP)

2011 - 2014

Technical Support of DFID Bihar Agriculture Growth and Reforms Initiative

2015 - 2020

The Maharashtra Agricultural Competitiveness Project is a USD100 million programme of the World Bank to improve agricultural competitiveness in the state by increasing productivity, profitability and market access of the farming community in Maharashtra. The project supports intensification and diversification of market-led production through agriculture technology transfer, facilitating marketing networks, improving market intelligence systems and strengthening livestock support services in the state. The project strengthens farmer's access to markets through developing alternate market opportunities, a warehouse receipts system, upgrading local rural markets, piloting e-trading platforms, and modernizing existing wholesale markets and livestock yards.

Sutra Consulting provided long-term comprehensive monitoring and evaluation support to the programme, where our team of advisers were responsible for developing theory of change and evidence-based design of M&E framework and system, design of multi-stakeholder M&E strategy, developing participatory monitoring and evaluation system, conducting baseline and mid-term impact evaluation studies, undertaking semi-annual and annual results or outcome monitoring, and developing capacities of the project to monitor and track progress of project outcomes and impacts. Our work in the programme led to a better understanding of the wide-ranging impact of the programme, particularly in improving agricultural productivity, better prices realisation for small and marginal farmers with improved access to market, minimising post harvesting losses with greater adoption of post-harvest management technology, improved transparency and efficiency in trading through modernised agricultural markets, minimising distress sale through improved warehousing and warehouse receipt facilities, and overall improved return from agriculture and allied sectors for farmers in Maharashtra.

The Bihar Agriculture Growth and Reforms Initiative is a GBP 10 Million programme of the Department for International Development (DFID UK) which aims to support Government of Bihar in enabling sustained and inclusive agricultural growth leading to poverty reduction. The purpose of the programme is to improve the performance of agriculture sector in Bihar significantly to reflect higher private sector investment, higher production and higher price realisation by farmers. This performance improvement initiative aims to improve access to markets for identified agriculture and horticulture products, access to finance, knowledge and technology, and institutional capacity for market regulation. This will reflect higher private sector investment, higher production and higher price realisation by farmers.

Sutra Consulting is part of the consortium appointed by DFID that is giving technical support to the Department of Agriculture, Government of Bihar to implement their agriculture road map with a focus on improving the agriculture marketing in the state. The assignment focuses on three major areas: mobilize farmers into groups, build producer organizations and link them to wholesale markets and corporate buyers; facilitate technology transfer and help make finance and agriculture information more readily available to farmers through one stop shops; strengthen the market infrastructure and help develop state level institutions that can promote marketing of agricultural produces, attract investment and conduct research. Our work is critical in organizing capable farmers to access market via more than twenty producer companies, facilitate private investment in storage and supply chain for agriculture and horticulture produce, increase farmer access to credit facilities by 50% and price information, strengthen and improve agriculture extension facilities and other institutions, as well as introduce regulatory reforms for improved market access and farm price realization.