BALANGIR: Sonepur Collector Monisha Banerjee, along with rural women, participated in lemongrass plantation drive under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) in Lakhmara village under Sonepur block on Sunday.
Lemongrass plantation is a novel initiative with regard to employment generation and poverty reduction in the district. The administration has earmarked 100 acres of barren land and identified 47 farmers for the purpose. In the financial year 2019-20, the plantation started with 13.75 acres of land and nine farmers.
The plantation project’s layout has been planned keeping in view the nature of agriculture in the district, which is restricted by lack of assured supply of inputs, technology, poor resources and inadequate support services. The lands, mostly owned by small and marginal farmers, are characterised by soil poor in organic content, low productivity and moisture loss. Since these farmers depend on migration to earn their livelihood, the lands mostly remain fallow. The lemongrass project aims to address these gaps in the district.