Learn about Pragatimitra North Kanara Farmers Producer Company- HERE
Learn about Pragatimitra Souharda Sahakari Niyamita, Siddapura- HERE
Learn about SRI Paddy Cultivation- HERE
Read about Sandbox's publication on Manuvikasa's work- HERE
Flagpost's Article on Manuvikasa's work- HERE

1. Read the case study on Shakilabai- HERE
2. Read the case study on Parvati Hegde- HERE
3. Read the case study on Vandana Naik- HERE



Betta land is the area that is legally owned by the forest department but handed over to the community for the collection of leaves, firewood, Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) and other things.Also, the local communities use this land for horticulture and grazing of farm animals. Betta land is a privileged forest given to areca gardeners in Uttara Kannada. Areca gardeners have rights over these betta lands for collecting forest products for their bonafide uses. We are working on the conservation of rare endangered and threatened species in fast degrading Betta Land through the protection of species, plant enrichment and wetland creation in Siddapur Taluk of Uttara Kannada District, Karnataka, India.The Betta Lands cover 40,000 Hectares in the Uttara Kannada district and are situated in the heart of the Western Ghats and the northern part of the Malanad Kodagu corridor. The Western Ghats is recognized as one of the twelve mega-biodiversity places in the world. The Western Ghats Forest lands are of national and global importance for ecological balance, biodiversity and the supply of natural resources. In the district of Uttara Kannada, Karnataka, local communities living in the forest lands (Betta Lands) utilize these natural resources for many centuries. Forest lands are degrading due to overuse of forest products, threatened plant and animal species, and unsustainable livelihood of the rural people for a few years.

Due to unsustainable use and management, nowadays more than 70% of the Betta Land is degraded and converted into grassland instead of being covered with useful trees. Also, several wild fruit plants, wild animals and IUCN red list species are disappearing from Betta Land.

Rainwater getting percolated at the hillocks is the primary source of natural springs being generated during summer. Enhancing percolation of rainwater helps groundwater table to get restored and to generate more springs that maintains moisture at the upper layer of the land in the vicinity of the hill. Knowing its importance, MANUVIKASA develops hundreds of soak pits of the dimension of 8 feet wide, 3 feet length and 3 feet depth on the top of the hilly area and a small lake kind of structure to stop the flow of rainwater and help it percolate there itself. This creates a greater number of natural springs so that farmers could leverage surface water.

Traditional methods were not energy-efficient and consumed large quantities of biomass fuel, thereby contributing to the degradation of ecology and the environment.The data collected in the earlier studies show that per capita consumption of firewood was about 1.22 kg and 0.88 kg for cooking and heating bath water respectively.  A family of four would use about 3 tonnes of firewood every year for cooking and heating bathwater.  Further, traditional stoves that burn fuel-wood incompletely and inefficiently cause a lot of smoke that spreads into the kitchen. Constant inhalation of smoke by women and children brings about various health issues.Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science have developed fuel-efficient devices for various purposes such as cooking, bath water heating, drying, and processing agri-products etc. MANUVIKASA staff members have undergone training in the Indian Institute of Science ASTRA center to construct stoves with different purposes and dimensions. Earth-Watch Institute of New Delhi supported the promotion of smokeless stoves in our region.

MANUVIKASA is helping the community members to build energy efficient Stoves by providing interest-free loans which helps in drastically bringing down the amount of firewood used, thus reducing the pressure on betta land. Around 250 cooking and Bath stoves have been constructed by us till date.

MANUVIKASA aims in this pilot project to collaborate with the Forest Department and the local communities to protect and restore the forests of the Betta Lands. Indigenous knowledge, technical solutions and scientific research will be used to develop a sustainable management plan, based on community-based forest conservation. The project will be set up as a case study of the Siddapur Taluk, of Uttara Kannada District consisting of 4,000 Ha Betta Land.

MANUVIKASA co-operates with different stakeholders in communities, governments, research institutions and NGOs to set up a collaboration on the sustainable management of the Betta Land. This collaboration is essential for the protection and restoration of Betta Land and the preservation of its particular biodiversity. Also, a business model will be developed for the community-based conservation of the Betta Land. MANUVIKASA has set up this project (from July 2013 until July 2015) to realize these goals. Financial support has been granted by UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (UNDP) small grant program and the Centre for Environment Education (CEE).


Community Parivartan (Positive Change) Through HDFC Parivartan Support

MANUVIKASA has partnered with HDFC Bank Parivartan for improving the livelihood of 1000 Sidi Community in Yellapur Block of Uttara Kannada District and 1000 fisherwomen households in Kundapur Block of Udupi District.

We have started the 03 years project with HDFC Bank Parivartan in January 2022. We aim to improve the livelihood of 1000 Siddi households and 1000 fisherwomen households through the promotion of a Producer Company, develop honey clusters and capacity building for Siddi tribes on minor forest products processing and marketing in their own brand. Bring all 2000 families under financial inclusion. Develop cage fishing and processing and value addition of fish through fisherwomen collectives. Providing training on hospitality to the Siddi and Fisher youths. Support entrepreneurship activities to both the community. In the last three months following are the activities carried out.

280 Boxes were distributed to 70 families in the Yellapur block. 

04 Boxes distributed to each family 

Total 09 women got business assistance for their enterprises 

Distributed 1500 chicks to 150 households and handholding support has been continued to develop backyard poultry in Siddi tribal area. 

Provided hospitality crash course training to 30 Siddi Youths and provided placement in three-star and five-star hotels. 

Supplied 05 community freezing units to female fishermen involved in the marketing of fish for fish storage. 

Provided horticulture farming support including irrigation pump sets, drip irrigation items and saplings to 14 families.

1. Siddi Tribes:

Hamilton (1990) argues that Siddis in South India are a significant social group whose histories, experiences, cultures, and expressions are integral to the African Diaspora and thus, help better understand the dynamics of dispersed peoples. More recently focused scholars argue that although Siddis are numerically a minority, their historic presence in India for over five hundred years, as well as their self-perception, and how the broader Indian society relates to them, makes them a distinct Bantu/Indian. Historically, Siddis have not existed only within binary relations to the nation state and imperial forces. They did not simply succumb to the ideologies and structures of imperial forces, nor did they simply rebel against imperial rule. The Siddi are recognized as a scheduled tribe in 4 states and 1 union territory: Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Daman and Diu.

The Siddis of Karnataka (also spelled Siddhis) are an ethnic group of mainly Bantu descent that has made Karnataka their home for the last 400 years. There is a 50,000-strong Siddhi population across India, of which more than a third lives in Karnataka. In Karnataka, they are concentrated around Yellapur, Haliyal, Ankola, Joida, Mundgod and Sirsi taluks of Uttara Kannada and in Khanapur of Belgaum and Kalaghatagi of Dharwad district. Many members of the Siddis community of Karnataka had migrated to Pakistan after independence and have settled in Karachi, Sindh. It has been reported that these Siddis believe that Barack Obama shares their gene pool. They wished to gift him and honor him on his visit to India in 2010. The Siddi population is currently estimated at around 850,000 individuals, with Karnataka, Gujarat and Telangana in India. Siddis are primarily Hindus, although some are Muslims and others belong to the Catholic Church.

With the support of HDFC Bank PARIVARTAN, MANUVIKASA has took up the project to improve the income of Siddi tribal community of Yellapur in Uttara Kannada district and Fisher Community of Kundapur block in Udupi district by promoting them Former producer organization and providing value addition support to their produces. We have a plan to cover 1000 each Siddi community members and Fisher community members in both the blocks. We have planned some of the key activities to strengthen the community to uplift their financial conditions.

MANUVIKASA is promoting Self Help Groups among the Siddi women and provided the necessaries to handle and the SHGs and also providing 02 levels of Training to women, firstly, One day training on Conceptualization of Self-Help Group and Former Producer Company and Secondly, two days training  on SHG Book Keeping and Records Keeping .

We have also provided Business Assistance Support to both Siddi and Fisher Community Women members to enable them to become an entrepreneur and start their new business enterprise or assistance for upgrading the existing enterprise. We have provided assistance Worth Rs.15000/- to each beneficiary. 09 beneficiaries were benefited in the first quarter itself and more than 30 members have applied for this benefit. The selection of the beneficiary is to be conducted based on their requirements, family background, capacity to sustain and more over commitment and contribution.

The Siddis are experts and trained in collection of Honey from the forest and apiculture. The Honey collected by Siddis is Very pure and unadulterated, but they didn’t have any proper market facility to sell and value addition of the same. We MANUVIKASA have identified this and thought to make Yellapur as a cluster of Honey among the Siddi community. In this regard, MANUVIKASA has identified the beneficiaries and provided Honey Bee boxes to Siddi families. We have provided 02 Honey Bee boxes with bee colonies and 02 empty boxes to each family. Totally 70 families of Siddi received the boxes and started apiculture. More than 35 families had already extracted and Honey from these boxes and earned an additional income to their family. With the Support of HDFC Bank PARIVARTAN We are providing Packing solutions, machinery support for filtration of the raw honey and branding and market linkage to the farmers. This will help them in investing their time in Apiculture.

2. Fisher Community

Udupi district has rich resources for fisheries development. Its coastline is about 100 kms. Fishing is a major economic activity in the district. Udupi is known for marine fishing and its exports. The marine fish landing of Udupi district constitutes about 98,217 MT for the year 2008-09. During 2008-09 Udupi district accounted for 49.03% of the total marine fish production. Ten Fish Landing Centers (5 in Udupi taluk and 5 in Kundapur taluk) and Malpe Fishing Harbor and Gangolli Harbor with all necessary infrastructures are located in Udupi district. 

Fisher Women of Kundapur block like small boat owners and women who are selling fishes are living mostly below poverty line and few families are considered just above the poverty line. But large boat owners, stockists and commission agents who are playing role in bulk handling are getting maximum profit than primary producers. Infrastructures are less comparing to other agriculture, poultry and animal husbandry produces for fisher folk and government investment on bulk handling units, drying units and transportation facilities are very less comparing to Goa and Kerala for small and medium producers. 

Livelihood situation of the women fisher folk is really critical and they are selling fishes by carrying baskets in head loads and walking in streets and villages without caring their health and security. Few women are selling fish in roadside free trade areas and selling fish with fewer profit margins during morning hours and sometimes they make losses by selling fish with less than the purchase price for stock clearance. As a perishable product, fish sellers get very less profit margin with raw and fresh fish selling. Several studies and analysis show that fisher folk required cold storage and drying units to increase the shelf life of the fishes and control wastage. Mobilization and collectivization of small and medium producers under one umbrella is the need of the hour to especially post COVID-19 scenario to develop their livelihood through sustainable harvesting, post-harvest management and value addition to the fish and fish products. We are also concentrating on the life expansion of fishes at the market. 

We have promoted the Self-Help Groups especially including the fish selling women at Kundapur blocks in Uppunda, Koteshwara, Gangolli and Shiroor gram panchayats. These fish selling women have a practice of selling fish at the fish market openly. They have used plastic tubs/holding for carrying fishes and put them with ice cubes. This will reduce the freshness of the fishes, and lead to smell after a day. So we provided them Large sized D-freezers to each SHG member, to 05 SHGs. They are using it for storing leftover fishes at the end of the day and can sell them the next day. This will keep the fish fresh for 4-5 days. These D-freezers will be maintained by the SHG members themselves. MANUVIKASA has also constructed a very unique Dry Fish unit with a concern to provide a good quality of Dry Fishes to the market. With the engagement of the Fisher families, we have constructed 15 Dry Fish units this year. Initially we have constructed 10 Big Dry fish units as a promotional activity, later we have constructed the Medium Sized Dry fish units with the support of the community. We constructed these units at the beneficiary’s place itself. 

Usually people used to dry the fishes directly by spreading the fishes on ground at road side or empty ground, this might be a potential for fishes to become dusty. To avoid this, we have structured a unique Dry fish unit model, which will cover all the way with Polycarbonate sheet and enable heat to access heat inside. This will result in proper drying of fishes without any dust and problems of Crows and Cats.