Bhubaneswar: The supply of vegetable seeds by the Odisha government is a welcome move, and it has a far-reaching impact in combating malnutrition. So, the government must continue providing vegetable seeds to rural households, especially in remote, tribal areas, to yield results, revealed a survey report conducted by NGO Atmashakti Trust and its allies Odisha Shramajeebee Mancha and Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha, Odisha.
The survey, which covered 900 households (HHs) under 650 villages of Tumudibandha and Kotagada blocks in the Kandhamal district, revealed that 96% of households had used vegetable seeds to grow nutrition kitchen gardens which are helping them to enhance food security and dietary diversity.
- 96% of the HHs have used the seeds provided by the Horticulture Department to grow a nutritional kitchen garden, and 100% of the seeds used have yielded output.
- Subsequently, 87% of HHs have shown interest in using the seeds to grow winter vegetables.
- 90% of HHs demanded more seeds, and 84% wanted to add other nutritious vegetables to the seed list supplied by the department.
- Most importantly, 11% of HHs said they could generate additional income by selling surplus production.
“Looking at its production benefits and achieving nutritional food security and dietary diversity among people, the state government should implement the scheme/ start a scheme to provide seeds for a nutritious vegetable garden in areas that are dominated by SC/ST communities living in remote rural and remote and hilly terrain by April 2023 so that they can grow it during the monsoon,” said Ms. Ruchi Kashyap, Executive Trustee of Atmashakti Trust.
As there is a growing demand for more seeds by the people, the government should increase the number of seeds provided to HHs and give the people winter vegetable seeds which will help its efforts in combating malnutrition in the state. Also, the scheme can be named as ‘Mo Bihana Mo Bagicha’, as communities prefer the name, the report suggested.
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