The Sukhi Baliraja Initiative (SBI) was initiated in Vidarbha, Maharashtra, in 2008 by the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Allied Trusts, and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Allied Trusts (the Tata Trusts) to address and alleviate farmers’ distress. The initiative reaches out to 25,600 households across 320 villages in the six distressed districts of Yavatmal, Amravati, Washim, Akola, Wardha and Buldhana in Vidarbha. Concurrently, the Government of Maharashstra initiated a bilateral project, the Convergence of Agricultural Interventions in Maharashtra Programme (CAIM) with the support of the International Fund for Agricultural Development and invited the Tata Trusts to participate in the programme. The joint initiative resulted in the SBI- CAIM programme.
CAIM and SBI are bound by a common goal, to develop resilient production methods and diversified on-farm / off-farm livelihood options for sustainable income generation, thereby enabling farmers to face production and market-related risks without falling back into poverty and distress. The CAIM programme has a total outreach of 286,000 households across 1,200 villages, located in the same six districts where SBI is currently operating, which made it possible to jointly scale up and intensify efforts in the region.The thrust of the SBI-CAIM programme is on sustainable agriculture, rainwater harvesting and water resource development and management, community-based microfinance and community- based marketing. The interventions are monitored at various levels, by in-house personnel and external agencies, and detailed reports are published based on the studies on their impact and progress.