The Gajapati administration has taken up a massive horticulture plantation drive under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) this year.
Aiming at generating about 1.5 lakh mandays under the Centrally-sponsored scheme, a lakh saplings of mango, lichi, orange and cashew would be planted on about 1,100 hectares in all the seven blocks in the district.
The work is now in progress in 935 hectares. The programme has been launched recently in 24 hectares when about 2,400 mango trees were planted at Kholabada village in Gumma block. “Since Gajapati is known as the horticulture district, we decided to take up massive plantation this year under the MGNREGA. We also found that people are interested in the programme,” a senior official said.
The officials are hopeful of the scheme improving economic condition of people.
“We have selected beneficiaries from among SC and ST categories who are job card holders under MGNREGA and have land,” said District Horticulture Officer Mihir Samantara. The administration would provide the saplings free as also fertilisers and pesticides.