Livelihoods encompasses a range of themes which could be sectoral related to specific commodity value chains in agri, agri-allied, forestry, manufacturing and service sector; segmental related to a range of groups such as rural or urban women, rural or urban youth, particularly vulnerable tribal groups, tribal groups, Dalits, refugees, people affected by displacement etc. Thematic research intends to build knowledge on specific themes of study. ILRT undertakes thematic research on a range of livelihood themes.
ILRT conducts value chain situation analysis in agri-value chains, horticulture, floriculture and agri allied activites. Under agriculture value chain studies of food grains, cash crops and oil seeds is undertaken. This may include paddy, wheat, maize (food grains); sugarcane, coffee, tea, rubber, cotton, jute, tobacco, vanilla (cash crops); groundnut, soybean, rapeseed, mustard (oilseeds). Value chain studies under horticulture may include fruit crops or vegetable crops. The subsectors could include orange, mango, grape, banana, guava, pineapple, cashew and mushrooms (fruit crops); potato, onion, peas, cauliflower, tomato, brinjal, okra, cabbage (vegetable crops). Floriculture based value chain studies could include that of Rose, Lotus, Jasmine, Hibiscus, Pansy, Tuberose, Glads, Anthurium, Carnations, Marigold. Agri-allied value chain studies could be of diary, goatery, sheep rearing, piggery, duckery. A situation assessment is undertaken at pre-production, production and post-production stages. Recommendations are provided for strengthening of subsectors. Scope for strengthening value chain linkages, capacity building areas, market are explored.Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) based Livelihood Promotion
It is estimated that 275 million rural poor in India are dependent on NTFP in India. India produces a variety of NTFPs such as sal seed, harra, gums of kullu, tamarind, chironjee, guthli, lac and mahua seed. ILRT undertakes studies on NTFPs across the country. Similar studies have been undertaken in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand etc. The studies do provide action plan and recommendations for strengthening NTFP based value chains.Fisheries
Fisheries sector is said to be employing about 145 million in India. India ranks second in aquaculture and third in fish production. With 7,516 square kilometres of marine coastline, India has a significant population dependent on marine fishing in coastal belt. Besides this fishing activities is also undertaken in inland water bodies such as rivers, canals, reservoirs, ponds, lakes and other water bodies. Fishery communities face challenges related to fishing which include lack of extension facilities, lack of insurance facilities, indulgence of middlemen, poor marketing, lack of credit facilities, low level of diversification etc. ILRT conducts research on specific challenges on fisheries.Household Manufacturing sector
There are different types of household manufacturing industries such as khadi, handloom & hanicrafts, agarbatti-making, medicines other than allopathic, electronic items, sewing machine, garments, bangle making, typewriter, Atta Chakki, biscuit, candles, sweets, jute products, photosetting, and toys manufacturing etc. These enterprises are located in rural or urban areas. Such enterprises do not realise their potential due to gaps in financial, technical and business aspects. Studies around these sectors can be conducted.Service sector
Service sector offers employment to about a quarter of the labour force. While there are high tech service sub-sectors such as IT, Banking & Finance which cater to the higher end, a large number of bottom of the pyramid are employed in the lower end of the service sector employment. These could be enterprises such as retail (managing small kirana shops), food enterprises (managing road side tiffen centres and hotels), transportation services (auto, rickshaw or taxi), repairing services (mobile, bike, car, electrician, motor mechanic) etc. ILRT explores possibilities for self-employment and employment creation in service sector.Informal Economy
A significant proportion i.e., 93% of Indian labour force is in informal economy. Being in informal economy denies them opportunities for decent work. They live under poor working conditions, have less scope for unionisation, lack adequate payment for their work, limited restrictions on working hours exist, work is insecure and lack social security. ILRT conducts research to understanding the country’s informal economy. Such studies have been conducted in Jharkhand and also form an integral part of its livelihood studies.Micro-enterprise
Micro-enterprises provides self-employment opportunities to a major segment of Indian population. Micro-enterprises face challenges such as low entrepreneurial and business capacities of the entrepreneurs, low levels of skills, problem of raw material, finance & marketing, lack of technological and skill upgradation, lack of supportive eco-system etc., ILRT conducts research on specific challenges of micro-enterprises and explores solutions for addressing the same.