Jharsuguda Farmers gain from Vedanta Aluminium’s ‘Jeevika Samriddhi’ initiative
Even in the midst of the epidemic, the initiative produced a reliable revenue and offered channels for the direct sale of agricultural products via 'Farm to Shop' platforms, demonstrating the efficacy of the underlying supply chain concept.
The ‘Jeevika Samriddhi’ project by Vedanta Aluminium in the centre of Jharsuguda is a narrative of change and promise. The project’s commitment to eco-friendly agricultural methods and upgraded irrigation infrastructure has inspired farmers all around the area. Even in the midst of the epidemic, the initiative produced a reliable revenue and offered channels for the direct sale of agricultural products via ‘Farm to Shop’ platforms, demonstrating the efficacy of the underlying supply chain concept.
Inspiring Change and Strengthening Communities
Gudigaon Village farmer Arjun Naik of Odisha’s Jharsuguda District thought it was impossible to grow crops throughout the whole year. “With water shortages and health difficulties, life was a daily struggle for me as my family had to make a daily journey of roughly 2 kilometres to get water which sapped our energy and resources. To add insult to injury, he says, “I became worse and had to quit working as a day worker, which was my sole source of money.
“Vedanta’s Jeevika Samriddhi’ initiative became a glimmer of hope for us during those difficult times,” says Arjun with pride. Since we began working with Vedanta, our field has flourished with cash crops like tomatoes, chillies and sweet corn, guaranteeing us a steady income. My wife, Kavita, is a joyful person who does a great job of managing our home finances, as well as the education of our children and the payment of my medical bills.
Similar changes may be seen in the life of Naresh Patel, another success tale. At first, I was a poor traditional farmer who farmed mostly rice and some vegetables. When I joined the ‘Jeevika Samriddhi’ initiative, however, that all changed. Natural pest control and organic farming training classes expanded my understanding of sustainable agriculture and provided a foundation for my professional development as a farmer and business owner. Now I grow a variety of income crops including ginger, chilli, coriander, bottle gourd, and many more,” says Naresh.
The Jeevika Samriddhi initiative in the villages of Gudigaon, Keldamal, and Siriapali has improved the lives of 521 households, including those of Arjun Naik and Naresh.
The first stage of this innovative farm-based initiative, comprising 111 farmers on a trial basis in one of the villages and dubbed “Sowing the Seeds of Change,” was launched in 2013 by Vedanta Limited, Jharsuguda. The initiative was so successful that a second phase was just initiated, this time affecting 330 agricultural families in Jharsuguda.
Vedanta sent in agricultural professionals to educate the farmers on cutting-edge farming techniques and environmentally friendly procedures. More than 89% of farmers have benefited from the sustainable agricultural practises, and more than 13,000 hours of training have been provided to the farmers in areas including crop planning and management, post-harvest management, and the Package of Practises (PoP).
Harvests of Plenty Obtained
Improved irrigation infrastructure have decreased reliance on precipitation, allowing project-participating farmers to cultivate year-round. Seventy-seven percent of farmers have reported a 50% increase in monthly revenue after adopting cash crops.
Mr. Surendra Delki, Assistant Horticulture Officer, Kolibira Block, who has been deeply involved in this project, says, “Jeevika Samridhhi has positively impacted a large number of farming households by introducing them to advanced agricultural practises as well as the best practises in land and water management. More than 200 acres of farmland in the area are now dedicated to growing high-value crops, guaranteeing a plentiful harvest throughout the year.
Greener Tomorrows Are Promised
Vedanta’s ‘Jeevika Samridhhi’ project in the Jharsuguda District is entering its third phase of operation and will soon expand to include an additional three villages in two Gramme Panchayats (Dalki and Parmanpur).
This third phase of the project focuses on orienting farmers about the adoption of climate-resilient agricultural techniques, establishing soil and water conservation structures, and introducing supplementary irrigation systems (such as solar and drip irrigation) to enhance reliable irrigation resources.
The program also aims to stimulate sustainable agriculture by refining crop management practices through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Nutrition Management (INM). Additionally, farmers will be familiarized with establishing market linkage through local institutions, community-based organizations, water user groups, farmer’s producer groups, village development committees, and similar avenues.
In a world where success is often measured in profits, Vedanta’s ‘Jeevika Samridhhi’ project tells a different tale. It’s a story of growth intertwined with the community’s well-being, a testament to the fact that true prosperity blooms when nurtured collectively.