The success of MGNREGA initiatives has made Odisha provide 300 days of assured work a yr to curb misery migration on this district
Until just a few years in the past, Bhuban Bag of Bhuanpada village in Odisha’s Balangir district was a migrant labourer. In the present day, he’s not solely a profitable farmer however has obtained accolades for his good agricultural practices. “This has been attainable due to a bit of little bit of ingenuity and the MGNREGA programme,” he says.
In 2008, he had simply returned from Tamil Nadu, the place he labored as a migrant labourer. The Orissa Watershed Improvement Mission, an autonomous company underneath the state agriculture division, was then renovating the one pond in his village that was mendacity silted up for years.
“I allowed them to increase the pond and strengthen its embankment utilizing a part of my land, which is true subsequent to it. I additionally joined the renovation work, which was being finished underneath MGNREGA,” he says.
The pond now holds sufficient water to irrigate 10 hectares (ha) of paddy fields in the course of the kharif season, Sabita Bag, a panchayat ward member says. With assured irrigation, Bhuban now harvests 2,500 kg from his lower than a hectare land.
“Earlier, my yields had been on the mercy of the monsoon,” he says. Water availability within the pond, nonetheless, reduces in the direction of December, making irrigation troublesome in the course of the rabi season.
Bhuban has discovered a means out for this. He knew that the tank has recharged the groundwater, which was out there at simply 1.5 metres. He dug two small, shallow wells on both facet of his farm.
“The wells now irrigate my land in the course of the rabi season,” says Bhuban, who grows pulses in addition to greens throughout winter and earns above Rs 30,000 from promoting tomato, brinjal, women finger, onion, chilli, coriander leaves and sugarcane.
“Besides oil and salt, I get all the pieces from my land for consumption,” he says, including, “My son has stopped migrating to Tamil Nadu and works on this land.”
That is no imply feat for a state notorious for large-scale misery migration. “Six of the 20 blocks declared as migrant-prone within the state are in Balangir,” Maheswar Swain, undertaking director of District Rural Improvement Company says.
The Odisha authorities has introduced a particular bundle for these blocks to curb misery migration. Since early this yr, a MGNREGA job card holder in these blocks is entitled to 300 days of labour per yr; fee for the extra 200 days of labor is borne by the state authorities.
“Our focus is on the creation of waterbodies. Now we have already achieved 11.1 million particular person days by now,” says Swain, including that the district has set a goal to create 5,000 farm ponds and multipurpose tanks in farmers’ land within the district.
In neighbouring Madhekela village, sarpanch Pushpanjali Kumbhar says about Rs 1.5 lakh has been disbursed as MGNREGA wages for the reason that scheme was launched within the village. It’s not a major quantity however has helped examine misery migration and elevated crop yields, Kumbhar says.
“As many as 3,122 staff who used emigrate for work regularly are registered underneath MGNREGA. They should discover work nearer dwelling and we implement initiatives protecting them in thoughts,” she provides.
This was first printed in Down To Earth’s print version (dated 16-31 March, 2021)
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