OdishaPlus Bureau

The Government of Odisha lays special emphasis on augmentation of farmers’ income in the state. In line with the same, the tribal farmers at Sundargarh, grow pulses, oilseeds, other cash crops, fruits & vegetables, along with the cultivation of staple foodgrains.

Tribal Farmers with their haul of Groudnuts

Earlier, tribal farmers in the region used to cultivate crops using traditional methods. Now, a three-year programme has been taken up to help these farmers use advanced technical knowhow and increase yield. The programme has been made operational at 9 blocks under Integrated Tribal Development Agency, Sundargarh (ITDA).

Necessary support to farmers for the same is being extended by ITDA Sundargarh as part of ‘Mission Jeevika’.

Capsicum growing on Tribal farmers’ land

“The aim is to support the life and livelihood of tribal people. Under Mission Jeevika, the tribal farmers grow various cash crops. ITDA provides support for cultivating 13 different types of crops. Once harvested, the farmers sell their produce in the local market earning a decent income”, says Project Administrator ITDA Sundargarh, Ramkrishna Gond.

A cauliflower field in Sundargarh, supported by ITDA under Mission Jeevika

Under Mission Jeevika, farmers in the district are using modern methods of cultivation for 13 varieties of crop. Maize, Millets, Mustard, Arhar, Groundnut, Brinjal, Cauliflower, Capsicum, Chilli, Watermelon & Mushrooms etc are produced by the farmers. ITDA provides seeds and organic manure to the farmers to cultivate the same.

Tribal couple with Arhar (pigeon pea) seeds

The crops are cultivated across 9 blocks of Sundargarh in an area of 4,500 Acres. Over 6 thousand beneficiaries have been enrolled as part of Mission Jeevika. The crops thus grown, using organic methods, have a demand in the local market.

“Earlier, I used to grow watermelons using seeds brought from the market. But, from the past three years, we are getting quality seeds for cultivation from ITDA. By using organic manure, the harvest this year has been better as compared to the previous year”, says Pabita Kisan, a woman farmer from Phulabari village in Bargaon block.

Arhar (pigeon pea) plant

“I have grown capsicum on one acre of land following the advice of ITDA officials. Last year, my harvest helped me fetch over Rs 50 thousand in the local market”, shares Rabi Barla, a young farmer from the district.

Tribal Farmer in a Mustard Field in Sundargarh

Various steps are being taken by the state government to strengthen the economic status of tribal farmers. Mission Jeevika programme is being run by the government of Odisha to provide various means of livelihood for tribal farmers in Sundargarh district.