Sustainable Livelihoods Improvement

Recent Achievements in 2010-2011:

* Agriculture and Livestock

624 households in Shangri'la County received household greenhouses intended to provide a year round source of increased food security and improved nutrition. Households have been growing and successfully harvesting cabbage, lettuce, eggplant, chili peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chives.

New irrigation channels in the same communities began increasing water flow to barley, rapeseed, and potato fields as well as to newly planted walnut cash crops. Channels are directing water more efficiently to over 200 acres of farm land, and walnut saplings are expected to begin producing marketable cash crops within 3-4 years.

Agriculture experts from World Education, a TPAF partner organization, initiated a Farmer Field Schools training program to help farmers reduce pesticide use and improve crop productivity, especially in newly introduced household greenhouses and cash crop fields.

255 families also received pairs of young Tibetan goats and pigs to raise, intended both to increase cash income and improve family nutrition.

* Village Health, Hygiene and Nutrition

Surveys of villager health knowledge, attitudes, and practices were conducted and 132 community health trainers received  trainer-training in basic health, hygiene, nutrition, and prevention of infectious diseases including STDs and HIV/AIDS. Community trainers returned to their villages to train representatives from 1,061 households, who then relayed the same messages to their family members, benefiting over 5,000 villagers.

* Rural Microcredit

52 households in Shangri'la received microloans of 1,500 RMB (about $225) and training in basic money management. Women organized in peer lending groups are using loans for a range of household income generating activities including purchase of inventory for small goods stores, chickens and pigs for household raising, and cash crop seeds.

* Employable Skills Training

Over 1,000 villagers received basic training in cement mixing and construction of simple concrete structures. This included the construction of cement irrigation channels to fields lacking adequate water supply for food and cash crops. 

* Small Enterprise Development

Six new roadside repair shops were established by beneficiaries of an earlier TPAF supported training program. The new shops are providing repair services and selling spare parts for tractors, motorcycles, minivans, and agriculture machinery. 

* Environment Protection 

332 families in Shangri'la received solar water heaters for bathing and heating livestock fodder, intended to reduce wood fuel use and increase the time available for women to engage in other productive activities. The heaters also help improve family hygiene when complemented by villager health training.

54 families received fuel efficient, non polluting stoves intended to reduce wood fuel use. The stoves also help improve family health by replacing open kitchen hearths that cause indoor pollution.