Q1. In my view, effort by government is welcome but not necessary to for matching grant programmes. Matching grant projects/programmes should be based on sustainability and possibility of increasing the income generating opportunity of first-degree relatives of the migrant to GDP per capita level of the country to which a person migrated or native country of the migrant.   

The government may have other priorities. The income generating path for first-degree relatives of the migrant in agriculture/ animal husbandry/ dairy farming/ fisheries/ forestry may not be in the government’s priorities list.

Like minded volunteers (NGOs, academia) promote first-degree relatives of the migrant partnering with local (honest) youth working on rural transformation with access to finance, skill and experience sharing/knowledge transfer.

Q2. Matching grant programmes are suitable for first-degree relatives of the migrant with well settled migrants having reasonable income.  Refugees, migrants returning under unusual conditions may not be having cash at hand to match grant.  Usually, first-degree relatives of the migrant labourers invest the remittances in house, agricultural land or gold for security reasons. They will be at mercy of local money lenders for cash.

Matching grant programmes are best suited for scaling the existing agricultural activity/ business of first-degree relatives of the migrant to meet the demand of preferred agricultural products in the country where the migrant is working. Migrant, donor, first-degree relatives of the migrant and local youth can form a team to achieve required quality standards of preferred agricultural products.

Partnering with local youth to meet the domestic market is better than matching grant. Partnering with local youth will be less risky and more adoptable to local cultural and traditional practices.

Q3.  investment in Information Practice (IP) is a preferable alternative. Convincing the farmers of best practices elsewhere in the world yielding high valued agricultural products or value addition to agribusiness is necessary. Increasing the first-degree relatives of the migrant’s income to GDP level is a reasonable target. Adopting efficient agricultural practices needs support from local ‘Village Livelihood Information Consultant’.

See the attached note on ‘Information Practice in matching grant programmes’

Q4. We do not work directly in matching grant programmes. Our charitable activity is focussed on PWDs (persons with disabilities). Our area of operation is more than 30 adjacent villages with about 50,000 population and more than 10,000 households in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, India. We, limit scope of our activities to proof-of-concept (POC) leaving the scaling and impact part to the successful beneficiaries. Sustainability of the idea is verified before initiating the POC.  

Inclusion criteria for programmes

Contribution in cash from beneficiary may become a barrier for some first-degree relatives of the migrant. They may end up in borrowing cash from local money lender pledging gold or agricultural land. Some may not be interested in venturing matching grant programmes with borrowed money.