Jharsuguda: Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium, has been transforming the lives of farmers in Jharsuguda, Odisha, through its Jeevika ‘Samriddhi’ project.
This initiative is envisaged as a sustainable livelihood project in agriculture, which aims to introduce small and marginal farmers to better, more efficient, and sustainable methods of farming, thereby increasing their quantum of yield and sustained return on agricultural investments.
Now in the second phase of its operations, the project, has positively impacted over 300 farming households across five villages of Jharsuguda, namely, Siriapali, Keldamal, Gudigaon, Katikela and Kurebaga.
Vedanta’s ‘Jeevika Samriddhi’ project has had a far-reaching impact on the agricultural landscape of the region, including:
- Monthly income of 77% of the farmers has increased by nearly 50%
- Most of the farmers involved in the project, are engaged in cultivation round the year due to improved irrigation facilities
- Farmers are now less dependent on monsoons for cropping
- Adoption of cash crops has also increased, contributing to better revenues for the farmers
- Increase in diversity of crops produced, with farmers being provided resources for new vegetables
- In the last fiscal, more than 20 trainings (4,400 training hours) were imparted to the farmers by agricultural scientists from Krishi Vigyan Kendra, horticulture officers from government line departments, etc; on areas such as crop planning and management, post-harvest management, Package of Practices (PoP), etc.
Speaking about the company’s endeavors to create sustainable livelihoods for local communities, Sunil Gupta, CEO of Vedanta Ltd., Jharsuguda, said, “Creating sustainable livelihoods is a key focus area in our community development efforts. To that end, we run several high-impact projects on skill development, women’s empowerment, agriculture, entrepreneurship, etc. at Jharsuguda. With agriculture as the primary source of livelihood in the region, and its criticality towards ensuring food security and proper nutrition for the local communities, we have taken it upon us to work with farmers on improving their access to better agricultural practices, new technologies, effective land and water management techniques, etc. Our Jeevika Samridhhi project is fast becoming a holistic solution for farmers in Jharsuguda to improve yield and household income.”
Vedanta’s social interventions in the domains of sustainable livelihood, quality education, women empowerment, health, water and sanitation, bio-investment and community infrastructure reach out to over 79 villages in Jharsuguda and nearby areas, benefiting nearly 1.7 lakh people in a year. It empowers more than 4000 women from over 339 SHGs, provides doorstep healthcare services to about 32,000 people annually, gives educational support to more than 6400 students, and has planted more than 1.48 lakh trees in partnership with locals at the community level.