Jhrasuguda: Bringing prosperity by securing economy of the farmers is prime concern of the APC project. SEWA (Social Education for Women’s Awareness), a partner Civil Society Organization left no stone unturned to establish a model of production cluster in its intensive areas. This is a story of one of the Producer Group named MAMTA in Odiapali and Sunamal villages of Laikera Block under Jhrasuguda district. The villagers and SEWA work together since 2015.
Though the villages had sufficient irrigation potential but not actualized them until SEWA mobilized the farmers and made them aware about the irrigation schemes of Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation (OLIC). With the facilitation of SEWA as many as 12 individual lift points have been installed in the villages by OLIC, Jharsuguda, providing 60 acres of irrigation.
The Agriculture Production Cluster (APC) project is a collaborative initiative of Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment and Panchayati Raj and Drinking water Department of Government of Odisha , the women farmers formed a producer group named Mamta with 136 members. They attempted synchronized production for the first time with assurance of NPM led farming and market by SEWA and Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN), a national level NGO.
During Pre summer season Watermelon crop was selected by looking into the small holder suitability, agro-ecological compatibility and market attractiveness. Around 65 acres of watermelon crop (variety-Augusta) is cultivated by 38 farmers. All the farmers planted the seeds almost at the same time as per the planning under synchronized production. Out of them 22 farmers were systematically trained and facilitated on NPM (Non pesticide management) in 32 acres. The technical guidance of SEWA and Field Officers from Directorate of Horticulture with the help of leading NGO PRADAN helped in achieving this feat of developing micro production cluster.
For the first time in the District 25 MT is marketed with the help of ORMAS (Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society) through AKM group which is exported to DUBAI on 12th April 2019 and rest has been marketed to local traders in Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Bargarh, Ranchi and Rourkela. Though the farmers get almost the same price as local rates, however this piloting is done to open a new market route for the future.
It’s an example for the farmers, as now produce is directly sold from the farmlands and farmers are not getting exploited by middle man or traders. Here, the farmers selling their produces for Rs. 5.50 per Kg, which is at a comparable market price. The role of SEWA and PRADAN in this BRLF (Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation) supported programme is to collectivize women farmers, finalize high value crops, ensure production and assure market for the produce at comparable price. The support of OLIC (Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation), Directorate Horticulture, OLM (Odisha Livelihood Mission) and ORMAS (Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society) is paramount for such innovations and change in the farmers life.
“As many as 38 farmers get benefitted by adopting this synchronized production approach and influenced many more to be a part of Agriculture Production Cluster project”