Tata Steel transforming lives of farmers through Lift Irrigation project at Jagannathpur village in Odisha

India CSR News Network

BHUBANEWSWAR: Enhancing productivity from the available piece of land has been a continuous effort under the sustainable livelihood improvement projects by Tata Steel under its CSR initiatives in its operational areas. These interventions have already started yielding results in the project areas.

Lack of irrigation facility is one of the bottlenecks of agriculture. In an endeavour to focus this area, one lift irrigation project at Jagannathpur village of Joda block was taken up with an objective to promote agriculture, provide sustainable livelihood and round the year irrigation facility. This is one of the successful and exemplary community welfare activities undertaken by Tata Steel in its Ferro Alloys Manganese division at Joda this year since last May.

Joda is basically a mining area and people are directly or indirectly dependent on mining activities for their livelihood and still there are chunks of people dependent on agriculture only. Looking at the need of the hour in one such village at Joda, Tata Steel Rural Development Society (TSRDS), the CSR wing of Tata Steel has installed the lift irrigation project. This project has affirmatively impacted the overall agricultural need of 53 families residing at Majhi sahi of village Jagannathpur who are completely dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.

The comprehensive irrigation project includes provision of a pump along with pump house, pipe line, 63KVA transformer, 10 delivery well along with chambers. This system is capable of irrigating 55 acres of agricultural land round the year. The farmers have witnessed the immediate result during the summer this year. They had a successful season of harvesting vegetables and economic crops like pulses, moong, brinjal, tomato and ladies fingers etc.

During the second season, the farmers have cultivated paddy crop in those fields through SRI method and are expecting good produce also. Most importantly they are no more hesitant about uncertainty of monsoon as round the year irrigation facility is always there as major backbone.

In the first season of summer, the farmers of this village have made a profit of around 2 lakhs which is a major boost to their effort and morale.

All the 53 families of this village have been benefitted out of this project. It is the sheer interest and dedication of these farmers who took ownership of this project and planned all strategy for its day today operation and maintenance. It is equally appreciating that they have formed Pani Panchayat, a body where farmers participate in the management of irrigation system and its maintenance. This institution is also a registered body in Odisha government’s Water resources department.

For paddy crop cultivation, TSRDS staff in association with District agriculture department has also oriented the farmers about advanced scientific method of cultivation and imparted training on SRI cultivation along with organic farming. The farmers were also facilitated for exposure visit to different parts of Odisha. They were provided with farming machine like sprayer and cono weeder to make the job simple and efficient.

Giridhari Majhi, a beneficiary of the project shared his happiness and said, “earlier the farmers were hopeless and the farm lands remained barren during summer season and after installation of the Lift irrigation, we could think of round the year cultivation. Not only paddy but also through cultivation of vegetables like tomato, brinjal, ladies finger and pulses like moong we are harvesting enough to sell in the market and get some money for our family also. Going forward we have planned to do potato and onion farming along with vegetables which has a huge market demand. He thanked Tata Steel for making their dream into reality.”

Another famer Sukra Majhi with a grinning face said,“I have cultivated 1.3 acres of paddy crop in SRI method and also earned around 6000 rupees during summer season by selling vegetables in nearest Bamebari market. This was an utter need of the village and I can better take care of my family and specially towards education of my children and now can see a future for them.”

The community is appreciating Tata Steel and whole heartedly welcomed the initiative of the company for bringing lost smiles and a ray of hope for their future. The project has transformed their lives and way of living to a larger extent.