Dalmia Cement Bharat Ltd (DCBL), India’s leading cement manufacturing company has taken a significant step towards promoting agricultural sustainability and enhancing food security in the state of Odisha, through the launch of project ‘Annadata’. With a primary focus on promoting Paddy and Ragi cultivation, project Annadata aims to empower farmers through sustainable agricultural practices. With the year 2023 declared as the ‘International Year of Millets’ by the United Nations, this project will also play a special role in encouraging farmers to cultivate millets as a vital component of sustainable agriculture. These nutritious grains offer a plethora of health benefits, ensuring a balanced diet and combating malnutrition among rural communities. In the first phase of the project, DCBL has distributed high-quality paddy seeds (Lalat variety) to over 800 farmers from peripheral nine villages near its plant location in Rajgangpur.
Speaking about the project Shri Chetan Shrivastav Executive Director DCBL and Unit Head-Rajgangpur said, “At Dalmia Cement, sustainability is at the core of all aspects of our operations. Agriculture is the backbone of our economy and plays a crucial role in shaping the lives of rural communities. Project Annadata exemplifies our efforts to create a positive impact on the lives of farmers while also contributing to sustainable practices for preserving the ecosystem. We hope this initiative will benefit many farmers in the region and offer them a better quality of life.”
Paddy cultivation has long been a dominant practice in Odisha, with farmers considering it as their primary crop. To support these farmers and promote agricultural diversification, DCBL has distributed paddy seeds of the highly productive variety in the villages of Lanjiberna, Saliameta, Kheramuta, Sargitoli, Tungritoli, Alanda, Bihabandh, Kukuda, and Gyanpali in Sundergarh district. DCBL aims to ease the financial burden of the farmers, enabling them to utilize their savings in production and other essential farming activities. To ensure increased productivity, DCBL will provide hand-holding assistance from the cultivation to the harvesting process. As a part of its commitment to sustainable practices, DCBL encourages farmers to sell their waste paddy straws instead of burning them, thus providing an additional source of income while mitigating the environmental impact. Furthermore, as part of the project’s long-term sustainability plan, a Grain Bank will be established for the farmers to store their produce efficiently.
Dalmia Cement remains firmly committed to its corporate social responsibility initiatives, consistently working towards building a more sustainable and inclusive society. Project-Annadata is just one among the many initiatives undertaken by DCBL to uplift rural areas and promote sustainable development in the region.