Sambalpur: The district administration has planned for creation of 18,000 kitchen gardens in the district under the ‘Mo Upakari Bagicha Yojana’ (my beneficial garden scheme) aimed at livelihood creation and prevention of malnutrition and anemia, a report said.
The programme will help combat the long-term nutritional challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and reverse migration of labourers.
The programme implemented under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and the Odisha Livelihood Mission will be carried out by involving women on priority basis. However, men interested to get involved in the project will also be included.
The programme will be carried out through participatory management of members of village youth associations, women self-help groups and family members for which training will be provided by the horticulture and agriculture departments, said Sovit Bisi, district project coordinator of MGNREGA.
The district administration is of the view that a well-developed nutrition garden is likely to supplement the daily dietary requirement of a vulnerable family, including pregnant women, lactating mothers and children and open earning opportunities for beneficiaries, he said.
He said that plans are afoot to include a total of 18,000 beneficiaries in the scheme for which work has been started in nine blocks of the district by involving over 6,000 families.
Bisi said this is a profitable scheme for which one needs to have 4 to 6 decimal of land near their house.
The scheme, aims at encouraging women in the district to grow vegetables and fruits at a minimal cost in their backyards to get fresh vegetables to meet their need and sell the surplus in the market. The beneficiaries will be provided with saplings of nutritious plants like papaya, banana, lemon, drumstick trees.
Each beneficiary in a block where migrant labourers have returned will receive Rs 13,758 (Rs 13,508 under MGNREGA and Rs 250 under OLM) under the scheme while the beneficiaries in rest of the blocks will receive Rs 10,479. The scheme aims at production of minimum of one kg of vegetable from each garden.
Anybody interested to take up scheme will have to apply for the same in their respective block or panchayat office and financial assistance will be provided under MGNREGS, Bisi added.