Pomegranate Cultivation: Ganjam Admin Sets Good Example of Convergence of Govt Schemes for Rural Development
Chatrapur: Niranjan Nahak’s life has completely changed ever since he ventured into pomegranate cultivation under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA). Motivated by the Ganjam district administration, this educated farmer from Sana Ramachandrapur panchayat worked hard on his one hectare of land that now turned into a gold mine which now promises him a decent source of income.
Pomegranate is one of the commercially important fruit crops and has high export potential. The cultivation requires less water as it’s a drought tolerant crop. Such crops are cultivated on a large scale in Maharashtra and on a smaller scale in other States, such as Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. However, pomegranate cultivation is somewhat a new concept in Ganjam district.
The Ganjam admin has encouraged the farmers to take up pomegranate farming under the convergence of MIDH with MGNREGA in the year 2018-19 in order to enhance the livelihood of the farmers.
The plantation works started in November last year in two panchayats – Sana Ramachandrapur and Subalaya in Ganjam block in the district. The farmers got necessary guidance and technical supports from the horticulture department.
Niranjan had planted nearly 500 plants in his protected land with assured irrigation cover. He will soon harvest fruits. He has now been regarded as a progressive farmer in his village and inspired several farmers.
Besides Niranjan, other farmers also started pomegranate cultivation in their lands. Within six months, more than 5.20 hectares of land have been cultivated planting more than 2000 pomegranate trees.
The project started on a small scale is providing desirable results. The farmers now consider such cultivation is very encouraging and are confident that it will improve their income, says Ganjam Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange.
The governments – both at the Centre and State are emphasizing on strengthening the rural economy and the livelihood base of the poor through inter-sectoral convergence of development programmes.
MNREGA, which aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment, offers a major opportunity for leveraging convergence.
In line with it, the Ganjam admin has set the good example of convergence of government schemes to enhance rural development and boost agriculture productivity.