The Gramasiri (“wealth of the village”) programme creates assets for landless agricultural labourers by promoting the rearing of small ruminants, supporting the thrift and credit activities of a landless labourers’ Cooperative, and developing a meat enterprise for the Cooperative. The Collective also provides extensive technical assistance to the Cooperative on livestock management, ethno-veterinary practices, animal insurance, access to subsidised loans, and for day to day operations.

Activities:

    • Organising meetings and trainings for members, leaders and Directors
    • Undertaking monthly thrift collection, loan counselling
    • Promotion of ethno-veterinary practices
    • Strengthening the livestock monitoring system
    • Setting up a system to provide animal insurance
    • Operationalising the Gramasiri Fresh Mutton Shop in Penukonda
    • Organising exposure visits

History

The Collective started working with agricultural labourers in 2008 when they were identified as an important stakeholder group that were not covered by its programs.  While the initial focus of the livelihood was backyard poultry (supported via a livelihood fund), the programme evolved to have a specific focus on small ruminants. One more factor for this – the landscape in Anantapur supports hardy grasses, shrubs and herbs, which in turn support graziers and pastoralists who sheep and goat. Anantapur also has the highest small ruminant population in Andhra Pradesh.

Meat Business:

The Cooperative has opened a fresh mutton shop in Penukonda on March, 2018. This was done with the purpose to enter the meat value chain, and thus trying to break through the gaps in the traditional market; such as difficulties in transporting livestock to the market, low bargaining power, livestock not being purchased on the basis of live weight, lack of incentives for small ruminant rearing, etc. All the sales go back to the Cooperative and procurement is only done from the members.

Updated statistics as on November 2018:

Membership: 1,061 shareholders from 70 sanghas in 59 villages

Consolidated capital base: Rs. 2,10,75,489

Collective livestock strength: 11,611 animals