Climate Change: Odisha Govt To Launch Natural Farming Through Women SHGs

Bhubaneswar: In a significant step on taking Odisha towards natural farming as part of climate change action plan, the state government has signed an agreement with RYSS of Andhra Pradesh to involve women self help groups (WSHGs).

A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed between departments of Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Caste and Minorities Development and Mission Shakti and RYSS of Andhra Pradesh in a virtual meeting held under the chairmanship of chief secretary Suresh Chnadra Mahapatra on Wednesday.

As per the agreement, the programme would be initiated in tribal dominated areas in collaboration with Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RYSS) of Andhra Pardesh which would provide knowledge support.

Stating that natural farming was inevitable for eco-biology and sustainable future, the chief secretary directed the departments to have robust field level convergence for successful implementation of the programme. “Natural farming will get popular acceptance among the people, more particularly in tribal dominated districts of Odisha as the method is compatible with the traditional patterns. Besides reducing the cost of production, it will usher in production of safe and nutritious food items,” he said.

Development Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena said natural farming will lead to a change in sustainability as it will fetch more income to WSHGs due to rising demand for non-toxic food.

Outlining the objectives of the programme, principal secretary ST SC and Minority Development Ranjana Chopra said  natural farming transition programme will be implemented in tribal dominated areas of Sundargarh, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Rayagada and Koraput from financial year 2022-23.

The programme would be implemented in convergence with Mission Shakti department involving members of 13,500 WSHGs. A total area of around 3.15 lakh hectare of farm land would be taken up under the programme.

Cluster approach would be adopted for implementation. Each cluster would consist of 50 WSHGs. An amount of around Rs 311.93 crore would be invested in the programme over five years, said Chopra.

Secretary, Mission Shakti, Sujata Karthikeyan said since the women in tribal dominated areas of the state are quite conversant with agricultural practices, they would form an integral part of the agricultural operations.

Director ST, SC and Minority Development Guha Poonam T Kumar, project officers of Integrated Tribal Development Societies of concerned districts along with senior officers from Mission Shakti and Odisha Tribal Development Society participated in the discussions.

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