BHUBANESWAR: Faced with long-term nutritional challenges owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent reverse migration, the State Government is now laying emphasis on creation of nutri-gardens in 750 panchayats.An extension of the existing ‘Mo Upakari Bagicha’ scheme under Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM), the new initiative has been converged with MGNREGS to boost rural economy and improve livelihood.
As part of the project, kitchen gardens will be developed at the backyard of a household to cultivate vegetables and fruits. A well-developed nutrition garden is likely to supplement the daily dietary requirement of a vulnerable family, including pregnant women, lactating mothers and children. The Government has set a target of covering five lakh households during 2020-21. The target was doubled to mitigate the adverse impact of the lockdown and subsequently, the scheme was merged with MGNREGS for wider implementation.
Earlier, OLM in collaboration with Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives (APPI) and other stakeholders had developed more than one lakh kitchen gardens between June, 2019 and May, 2020 in 13 districts. In each garden, 13 varieties of vegetables and 10 different types of fruits are grown. Some of the common produce include lemons, banana, papaya and drumsticks. As per the garden design, one can harvest at least one kilogram of vegetables after 45 to 60 days throughout the year. No hybrid or high-yielding variety of seeds are given to the beneficiary. As part of the scheme, the beneficiaries are also trained to prepare organic compost.
Rectangular or circular gardens will be developed over two decimal land. For households with no space in the backyard, plantation would be carried out in gunny bags. Poor families, vulnerable groups and households specified under MGNREGS would be eligible for the scheme. For land development of one garden, six persons will be employed under MGNREGS with a daily wage of `207. In the migration-prone districts of Bargarh, Kalahandi, Nuapada and Balangir, the wage rate is `298 per day.
Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced an allocation of `500 crore for creating five lakh nutri-gardens. The project will be implemented in convergence with OLM and Centre-sponsored Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA).For developing a garden in the migration-prone block, `13,508 will be spent from MGNREGS and `250 from OLM and ATMA funds. For other blocks, the contribution from MGNREGS is `10,479.
One can harvest at least 1 kg vegetables after 45 to 60 days throughout the year.
No hybrid or high-yielding variety of seeds are given to the beneficiary