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BAIF Institute for Sustainable Livelihoods and Development (BISLD), is a not-for-profit Organisation registered (Registration No. CIN: U73200PN2012NPL142984) under Section 8 (formerly Section 25) of the Companies Act, 1956 and formally established on April 16th, 2012. BISLD is closely associated with BAIF Development Research Foundation, a reputed Non-Government Organisation founded in 1967 by Dr. Manibhai Desai, a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Journey

BAIF started its journey in rural development work in 1967 with the cattle development programme. It later took a multidisciplinary approach to create sustainable livelihoods that covers management of natural resources, tree based farming system through the wadi programme and women empowerment leading to improved lives.

The relevance and effectiveness of this work is vindicated by the fact that presently it has the overwhelming participation of farmers in over 60,000 villages in 16 states. The programme outreaches to over 4.5 million families.

The programme addresses various social development needs that improve the quality of life- through better health, reduced drudgery, enriched environment and enhanced capacities of the participant families. BAIFs approach has thus been the family, the human element and inclusiveness of the women who play a key role in rural livelihood. Thousands of women self help groups have helped to improve their lives.

In today's changing needs, BAIF is striving to keep abreast with relevant technologies such as sex sorted semen, climate change adaptation and is thus poised to meet the development challenges of tomorrow.

Field programmes of BAIF were implemented by separate state level societies. Considering the expansion of programmes and to streamline the operations, a separate organization named BAIF institute for sustainable livelihoods and development (BISLD) is registered under thsection 8 (formerly section 25) of companies Act, 1956 on April 16 2012. Field programmes are now being implemented by BAIF Institute for Sustainable Livelihoods and Development through its state branches.

BAIF Development Research Foundation made a modest beginning in Uttar Pradesh through Cattle Development Programme in the year 1976 in Banda and Prayagraj districts in collaboration with Prayag Chitrakoot Krishi Avam Godhan Vikas Nigam Limited, Karwi with an objective to create productive assets at the doorsteps of the farmers in the form of crossbred cows, which can yield more than 2100 liters of milk in a lactation. The impact of the programme was well appreciated by the farmers and Government policy makers.

In the year 1984, BAIF initiated cross – breeding activities in local non descript cows using frozen semen technology with artificial insemination technique. After critical analysis and evaluation of the programme by the Department of Animal Husbandry,Government of UP, it was expanded to 62 livestock development centers in 10 districts to explore wider replication of the programme. Later on, looking at the success of the programme, the Government of India recognized BAIF as a reliable rural development agency and provided support to its rural development programmes through its IRDP Scheme which was later merged with its new SGSY scheme. It was expanded to 311 centers in 42 districts with the help of DRDAs. There is continues expansion of the programmes and it has been serving as a tool for sustainable livelihood of BPL families through improvement in milk production through dairy cattle. Various Projects were taken in field of Watershed Development, Ravines & Sodic land development, Diversified Agriculture, Sericulture, Human Health, Women empowerment and strengthening of Local Pos.


The programmes of BISLD are being implemented across 13 states of India through a team of senior development professionals and field implementation staff. The operations are spread over the following Regions:

Northern Region – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan
Eastern Region – Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and Chhattisgarh
Western Region – Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh
Southern Region – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka

The Regional Headquarters are located at Prayagraj (North), Hyderabad (South), Ranchi (East) and Nashik (West). The multidisciplinary programmes of BISLD and its Associate Organisations are spread across 250 districts reaching out to over 4 million families.

Our Programmes

BISLD is committed to promote sustainable livelihood of the rural poor. With an innovative and integrated approach to rural development and environmental conservation, the flexibility of the programmes enable BISLD to serve the most disadvantaged by addressing the specific needs of each family, village and local area. Community participation is the foundation of all the programmes.
The following programmes are being implemented:

Livestock Development – The Dairy Development Programme aims at improving the livestock breed through artificial insemination for enhanced production. Promotion of goat husbandry and backyard poultry for landless, small and marginal farmers is another activity. The key components are:

Genetic improvement of livestock through artificial insemination centres, each catering to a cluster of about 12-15 villages
Preventive health care and first aid services
Promotion of fodder production and feed management
Facilitation for developing value chains for both dairy and goat development programmes

Natural Resource Management (NRM) – Sustainable management of natural resources for sustainable development of community and ecosystem is the key aspect in this programme. The projects under NRM include:

Watershed Development
Promotion of efficient water use technologies
Promotion of non-conventional energy such as solar and bio-energy
Climate change adaptation and mitigation

Climate-Resilience Farming – Based on the resource base of the families and the area, the projects are designed to create a source of sustainable livelihood in the farm. The projects are mainly implemented in the tribal and resource poor areas. The main projects include:

Wadi (Agri-horti-forestry based livelihood)
Improved agriculture practices for enhanced production and income
Climate smart agriculture
Organic farming
Agri-business through local people’s organizations

Quality of Life – This programme aims at improving the quality of life of the participant families through preventative health measures and development initiatives as given below:

Clean drinking water supply, sanitation, and hygiene
Agriculture-nutrition and nutrition supplementation
Literacy and education
Women Empowerment through :

Promotion of Self Help Groups of Women
Drudgery reduction technologies
Empowerment of women through micro-enterprises
Linkages for micro-finance

Skill Development and Empowerment – Community empowerment, promotion of leadership among community members and skill development for self-employment are the key measures. The important activities include the following:

Awareness generation on overall development and entitlements
Promotion of People’s Institutions for continued and sustainable development
Skill development of rural youth in various farm-based and non-farm vocations

Programme Impact

A family with three milch animals earns an income of Rs. 60,000 - 75,000 per annum while a tribal family through Wadi (Agri-horti-forestry based livelihood) is able to earn Rs. 40,000 - 55,000 per year and come out of poverty. With the increase in cropping area by 20-30%, the watershed development programme generates year-round employment even for landless and increase in crop production by 35-60%. The quality of life of the community especially of women and children has increased with various health measures and development initiatives.