ST & SC Development Department of Odisha is marching ahead with its livelihood promotion programmes under Mission Jeevika

Bhubaneswar: For promotion of a scalable and replicable livelihood cluster model suitable to local conditions of tribal communities, a new livelihood ecosystem was launched and named as Mission Jeevika by ST & SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Department, Government of Odisha with the objective of ensuring sustainable livelihoods of ST families through land and non-land based livelihood activities for income generation and increased living standard of the tribals.

More than 1.50 lakh tribal households have been supported through 969 farm based and off farm clusters by ensuring timely access to quality inputs, introduction of better production practices, training and capacity building support and marketing assistance in a convergence mode. “The convergence of Mission Jeevika with the Agriculture Production Cluster project aims at creating vibrant farming clusters among the marginal farmer communities who are now reaping rich dividends. The new
technologies introduced in the clusters have made productivity manifold and harvesting easier” Says Smt. Ranjana Chopra, IAS, Principal Secretary of the department.

An internal impact assessment study revealed that 120 % increase in area under cultivation by the surveyed beneficiaries compared to last year’s Rabi season & 83% increase in area under irrigation due to project intervention during 2019 Rabi compared to last Rabi season. Meanwhile, MISSION
JEEVIKA-II guidelines have been framed to strengthen its activities by creating infrastructure incidental to livelihood, off farm clusters, marketing support and promoting community based institutions to ensure sustainability of the clusters. Further, Mission Jeevika has entered into a partnership with Agriculture Production Clusters(APCs) of Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment, Odisha to enhance the income of small and marginal tribal farmers of 27 tribal dominated blocks in 7 districts by facilitating them to practice market linked production clusters.

“During COVID-19 pandemic , our aim has been to create employment in tribal areas through various initiatives like providing technical inputs ,seed support and fertilizers under Mission Jeevika Programme for sustenance of livelihoods. Further we have revised scheme guidelines to enhance irrigation coverage and emphasize mixed farming strategies” said Smt. Guha Poonam Tapas Kumar, IAS, Director ST cum CEO, OTDs.

Success stories are aplenty. Mission Jeevika Programme is sustaining livelihoods of tribals through timely supply of inputs and technical assistance clubbed up with tremendous efforts and
willingness of beneficiaries at Sunakhandi and Krushapatraguda village in K.Singhpur Block of Rayagada District. The interventions are clearly visible in the successful cultivation of Bitter Gourd in
35 acres of land of 59 beneficiaries with the support of Agriculture Production Cluster team of K. Singhpur block. Now the beneficiaries have started yielding good results with production and sale of 3.00 tons of Bitter Gourd in Rayagada, K.Singhpur and JKpur Market through Farmer Producers Group of ORMAS on an average of Rs. 30/- per Kg benefitting Rs.25,000/- to Rs. 35,000/- per beneficiary.

The excited women members of the cluster are expecting Rs. 80,000 on an average per acre by the end of June 2021. Kurunji Nasika, Aged 35 of Krushna Patraguda cluster expresses her joy for getting seed and manure support along with technical inputs in the APC block from the scheme, which have not only
made her self-reliant but also increased her self confidence on vegetable cultivation as the most lucrative business. Kurunji is the proud owner of her one acre land and has become the role model of her village inspiring farmers from adjacent villages who are willing to carry her legacy of smiling success.