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August 31, 2015
 
‘Community-Based Eco-Tourism will Boost Income of Tribals’


http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/communitybased-ecotourism-will-boost-income-of-tribals/article7598957.ece

31 August 2015

Rajahmundry: Professor and Head of Department of Management Studies at Adikavi Nannaya University S. Teki has submitted a project report to the A.P. Forest Department on the role of community based eco-tourism by taking Maredumilli village as a case study. A copy was handed over to M. Ravi Kumar, Conservator of Forests, in the presence of T.V. Subbareddy, DFO, Kakinada Division, here on Saturday.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ravi Kumar said that, the research report contained strategies that would lead to better quality of life to the local tribal people living in and around the project area. Introducing his research report Prof. Teki said forest living communities were poor and depended on forest for survival.

Maredumilli community-based eco-tourism project which included Vana Vihari (excursion to forest) was commenced in the year 2005-06.

It was financed and developed by Forest Department under World Bank assisted A.P. Community Forestry Project. Project was handed over to three Vana Samrakshana Samitis (VSS) which are also called Forest Protection committees.

Impact of project is visible as economical backward communities have become micro-entrepreneurs and about 68 families directly and indirectly supporting their livelihood.

He said that local community has been empowered to manage the business affairs of the Vanavihari and forest canopy has been improving and communities are supporting their livelihood from project.

Forest protection force

He pointed out that local communities have also become forest protection force.

In the study area of Maredumilli a tribal family with six persons survived on Rs.24, 549 per annum.

This income level can be increased, if the tribal undertake NTFPs value additions (drying, storing, grading, boiling etc.) that in turn improve the quality of life of the local tribal communities.

A local tribal family can earn an income up to Rs. 13,100 per annum by cultivating and processing lemon grass on a piece of one acre land.

As per the research study field survey conducted amongst a sample of respondents, the awareness about Vanavihari is 78 per cent.