The national lockdown following the outbreak of COVID-19 in India disrupted the lives of farming communities across the country. Lack of manpower to harvest produce, broken supply-chain, limitations imposed to marketplaces and movement, etc. impacted the livelihoods of farmers who were hoping to sell their winter harvest at good margins.
Vedanta is India’s largest producer of primary aluminium, operating a world-class aluminium smelter in Jharsuguda in Odisha with an installed smelting capacity of 1.6 MTPA.
Post-lockdown, as Jharsuguda’s farming community slowly and cautiously begins preparations for the new cropping cycle again, Vedanta is lending a helping hand to them.
From distributing top quality seeds to guiding them through the cultivation cycle, Vedanta is working with experts from Dept. of Horticulture, Govt. of Odisha, and agri-scientists from Krishi Vigyan Kendra to help the farmers.
Recently, Vedanta distributed seeds of high-yielding indigenous ginger variety to hundreds of farmers associated with its farm-based livelihood project ‘Jeevika Samridhhi’ helping them kick-start the new cropping cycle. Since inception the project has been working with farmers to promote adoption of high-yielding cash crops and advanced methods of commercial farming for generating greater revenue from farming activities.
Following multiple community consultations by Vedanta and SEWA, the project implementation partner, with the community, more than 180 farmers from Siriapali, Gudigaon and Kelendamal showed interest in ginger plantation for the upcoming kharif season.
Besides seeds, the farmers were given orientation on ginger farming and Package of Practices (PoP) on growing the crop like land preparation, seed treatment, planting method, manure and fertilizer, natural pest management, intercultural operation, duration of cultivation, harvesting technique, etc. by agricultural experts.
Speaking about Vedanta’s endeavors to help better the lives of farming communities in our periphery, CN Singh, CEO – Vedanta Ltd., Jharsuguda said, “We rolled out Jeevika Samridhhi with the aim to support and benefit farmers in our periphery through adoption of advanced agricultural methodology and land and water management.”
“Encouraged by the success of the first phase of the project, we launched the second phase enveloping more farmers in the project’s ambit.”, he said
“To help us achieve superlative results on ground, we have also roped the expertise of KVK and Horticulture Dept, Govt. of Odisha, for advising and technically upskilling the farmers.”, he added.
Jayakrushna Patel, President – Amar Jyoti Farmers Club, Siriapali, said, “When COVID-19 hit here and restrictions were put on marketplaces, we were near the end of harvest season. At that time, Vedanta helped us sell our produce by connecting us to their employees and families through Jeevika Samriddhi project. Now, as I and my fellow farmers prepare to start agriculture activities for the upcoming kharif season, Vedanta is giving us high quality seeds and getting experts to advise us on how to take proper care of our crops.”
Jeevika Samridhhi is Vedanta’s sustainable livelihood project focused on land and water management, run in partnership with SEWA, Kolabira. It aims to introduce small and marginal farmers in the company’s peripheral community to better, more efficient and sustainable methods of farming, thereby increasing the quantum of produce and sustained return on investments.
The project’s relevance is based on the need to augment irrigation infrastructure, promote advanced agriculture, application of bio-fertiliser and pesticides, and make farming a remunerative profession. In the 1st phase, more than a hundred farming households of Siriapali village were benefited through the project, with an increase in irrigation potential of the village by 21% and household income of beneficiaries by 20-25% in just one year. In its 2nd phase, the project covers 250 farming households across three villages for a duration of two years.
Vedanta’s aluminium smelter in Jharsuguda is the only Indian smelter in the global ‘1 Million Tonne Club’ primary aluminium producers and exporters. The company currently produces more than a third of India’s primary aluminium backed by world class assets, new-age technology and innovative practices and a robust sustainable development framework. With a strong focus on safety, the company is committed to delivering sustainable and robust growth, which creates value for its shareholders and stakeholders.