UAIL’s Project UANAT transforming lives of farmers in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Aditya Birla Group’s Utkal Alumina International Limited (UAIL) project “UANAT (Utkal’s Action for Agricultural Transformation)” launched in collaboration with Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation (BRLF), is making a transformative change to the lives of more than 15,000 rural households of Kashipur Block in Rayagada district and Thuamul Rampur Block of Kalahandi district in Odisha through farm-based livelihood interventions.

Launched in 2021, UANAT has so far impacted 5000 households of small and marginal farmers through farm intensive interventions. In Kashipur and Thuamul Rampur blocks, 44 Producer Groups (PGs) have been formed with 5,257 farmers as members. This helps forge community ownership.

UANAT programme converges with potential Government programmes like MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), Odisha Livelihood Mission, ITDA (Integrated Tribal Development Agency), National Horticulture Mission, Watershed Development Programs, OLIC (Odisha Lift Irrigation Corporation) and OAIC(Odisha Agro-Industry Corporation).These are in sync with the UNSDGs (UN Sustainable Development Goals). No poverty, zero hunger and self-reliance are the final goals.

Briefing on its economic benefits, Mr. Mazhar Beig, the Unit Head of Utkal Alumina shares that, “Since its implementation, UANAT has enabled generate an average additional annual income of Rs.31,700 per farmer. The earnings from potato cultivation is recorded at Rs.16000 for every farmer for every season while that of mushroom is Rs.3000 every month. In the last year itself Rs.324.50 lakh have been garnered from various Government schemes and programs at both these blocks. These encouraging results have instilled confidence among the stakeholders.

“As many as 33 Agri-entrepreneurs have been identified from the operational villages and their grooming and capacity building is under progress. These agri-entrepreneurs will become the catalyst of change and serve the community in various fields like Custom Hiring Centres, one-stop solution for Livestock (vaccine, feed, and equipment), aggregation of agri-produce and its marketing”, avers Mr Beig.

Adds Mr. Kuldeep Singh, COO, BRLF, “To execute the program at ground level, Centre for Youth and Social Development CYSD is working in Kashipur and Janasahajya in Thuamul Rampur as partners to BRLF. Under this project till date, 15 CRLP (Cluster River Lift Point), 7 DBIs (Diversion based irrigations), 7 Canals, 14 Farm Ponds are being converged from Government departments to provide access to irrigation to the farmers to take up multi-crop farming. Poultry, Potato and Mushroom have been promoted as Agri-cluster at Kashipur whereas Onion, Vegetables, Sunflower are emerging as potential agri-production clusters at Thuamul Rampur area. 314 households have been covered under NTFP (Non-Timber Forest Produce) interventions. Siali Leaf cluster development, marketing and value addition of Tamarind are taken as the potential crop for interventions under NTFP. Backyard poultry farming, vaccination of goats are taken as potential interventions under Livestock initiative of project UANAT and as on date 731 families are covered under this initiative”.

In Odisha, the Aditya Birla Group reaches out to more than 5 lakh people touching the lives of over 2 lakh people criss-crossing 128 villages spanning five districts. The Group’s CSR programmes are being driven by Mrs Rajashree Birla, Chairperson, Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development whose vision: “is to actively contribute to the social and economic development of the communities in which we operate. In sync with the UN SDGs our endeavour is to lift the burden of poverty weighing down the underserved and foster inclusive growth. In doing so, build a better, sustainable way of life for the weaker and marginalized sections of society”.

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