“Land is Livelihood” is the concept that drives ASA’s Land and Water Resource Development programme.
It remains a core activity in ASA's strategy to develop rural livelihoods. ASA's multi-disciplinary and integrated approach, therefore, is based on the premise that significant opportunities for livelihood enhancement exist through the restoration and management of the available natural resources in the rural areas.
Agriculture based livelihood cannot go beyond a point if development of two fundamental resources such as land and water are unaddressed. There is enough experience today to know that a family with one to two acre of land requires a one-time investment of average Rs.50000-60000 to improve the land and water condition so that cropping intensity can be doubled or more. Such amount of investment in a phased manner with support of institutional credit from their own institutions like SHG, producer company, etc., the livelihood of the family can be stabilized. It is near impossible for the family to consider such investment on their own given his/her economic conditions. On the other hand, a simple calculation suggests that each family in a village has entitlement of earning about Rs.15000 – 20000 every year through MGNREGS. This means that entire need of investment for land and water resources development for the family can be sourced from the resource entitlement of the same family. What is essentially required is a planning protocol at the village level with the Gram Panchayats and a technical support mechanism to the GPs for implementing the plan using MGNREGS fund. ASA has been working in this model of supporting GPs and community groups in all its programme areas with considerable success.