Bhubaneswar: Trickle Up, an international non-profit organization, successfully implemented the Ultra Poor Market Access (UPMA) project in Balangir, Odisha, with the support of the Walmart Foundation. The initiative aimed to include ultra-poor women in Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to empower them and promote sustainable livelihoods. However, providing access to markets and resources posed a significant challenge for the marginalized households to increase their income and improve their living standards.
To share the proven models and best practices related to the inclusion of ultra-poor women in SHGs and FPOs, Trickle Up organized a workshop in Bhubaneswar on May 4, 2023, with the theme of “Inclusion of Ultra Poor Women in SHGs and FPOs – Challenges and Success Stories.” The workshop aimed to bring together stakeholders from various organizations, including government agencies, NGOs, academics, and practitioners, to network, learn, and share ideas.
Pritiranjan Gharai, Hon’ble Minister of State (Ind.Charge), Rural Development, Govt of Odisha, addressed the gathering and appreciated Trickle Up’s efforts in organizing the workshop. The minister sought valuable insights and suggestions from thought leaders in the development sector to foster collaboration, networking, and innovation for a better quality of life for all. He acknowledged the government’s initiatives towards development in Nagada, such as infrastructure development, rural housing projects, and enrollment in government schemes.
Sushant Verma, Asia Regional Director, Trickle Up, emphasized the importance of adopting a holistic approach that addresses the multi-dimensional needs of ultra-poor women for successful inclusion in SHGs and FPOs. He also mentioned that there are many successful models and best practices available, which can be tailored to the specific context and needs of the ultra-poor women being targeted. Replicating such success stories requires concerted efforts from various stakeholders, including government agencies, NGOs, and local communities.
The UPMA project has laid the foundation for providing participating women with necessary skills and resources to become market-ready and achieve higher and sustained returns from their livelihoods. This approach can help build resilience to the frequent economic shocks experienced by the ultra-poor households.