SAMBALPUR: A silvopasture project undertaken in Kuchinda sub-division of the district under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has failed to yield the desired result. The project is aimed at strengthening the economic condition of villagers who depend on dairy farming for their livelihood.
As per reports, there was a proposal to undertake silvopasture over 24 hectares (ha) of government land in nine villages, including Pandrikata, Kusumi and Ganmunda in Kuchinda block, Kusuli, Tiklipada and Bandhbahal in Jamankira besides, Haripada, Jagdatiria and Jarabaga in Bamra block. The total estimated cost for establishment of silvopasture units is `63.63 lakh. Dairy farming is a major source of livelihood for the people of the nine villages and each village has Milk Producers' Cooperative Societies (MPCS).
However, silvopasture has been undertaken over 10 ha of land each in Pandrikata, Kusumi and Ganmunda in Kuchinda block and two ha of land each in Kusuli in Jamankira block and Jarabaga in Bamra block. The silvopasture could not be undertaken in rest of the four villages due to water scarcity.
Apart from subabul and prosopis plantation, stylo legume grass and cenchrus cereal grass have been cultivated on the land. While stylo legume grass and cenchrus cereal grass can be utilised as green fodder for the cows being reared by the villagers, subabul and prosopis trees could be utilised as firewood.
Fodder Development Officer, Sambalpur, Anup Badpanda informed that about 40 tonnes of green fodder have already been produced from silvopasture units at Pandrikata and Ganmunda. The green fodder has been distributed to members of MPCS of the two villages free of cost. However, the growth of the grasses at silvopasture units in Kusumi, Kusuli and Jarabaga has been badly affected due to water scarcity, he said.
The broadcasting of green fodder seeds should be done at the onset of monsoon. But, the broadcasting was undertaken in September last year. The broadcasting of green fodder seeds will be undertaken this year with the onset of monsoon, he added.
Silvopasture is a practice of combining forestry and grazing or harvesting of green fodder produce for feeding domesticated animal in a mutually-beneficial way.