Tata Steel Foundation’s remarkable contribution during last 5 years
Noamundi (West Singhbhum): Tata Steel Foundation in Noamundi, located in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand, has been spearheading several livelihood initiatives for farmers from Noamundi and nearby villages.
These initiatives include SRI (System of rice intensification), mango orchard creation, mushroom cultivation, oilseed cultivation, papaya and banana orchard creation, high density composite orchard cultivation, duckling farming and many other projects customised to meet the requirements of the farmers to improve their agro-produce. In the last five years, over 1,450 number of farmers have benefitted through such initiatives and have been able to generate steady income to support their families.
Recently, by doing a thorough research of the agricultural land in Noamundi, Tata Steel Foundation has begun to emphasize the creation of a horticulture model to support small and marginal farmers having 12 months irrigation capacity. One such project known as high-density composite orchard with 8 different types of fruits is pegged to provide over 1 lakh/hectare of remuneration to these farmers. Yashmati Tiriy, an ex-Mukhiya of Kutingta village, who is one of the beneficiaries, says, “I am currently cultivating 8 exotic and high income generating fruits like papaya and pomegranate in my orchard. We have used scientific methods of framing to ensure maximum produce. This type of farming has never been done here before.”
Using trellis for farming for producing high value vine crops has also helped over 15 marginal farmers to increase their annual income. Sanjit Bobonga of Rengerbera village and Ganesh Kerai of Uisia village have been able to earn an additional income Rs.50000/- in a year with the help of trellis-based cultivation. Apart from this, over 101 farmers have been trained on SRI (System of Rice Intensification) cultivation and over 502 farmers have been provided technical assistance for setting up kitchen gardens to boost their income.
Improving productivity and crop yield, enhancing dry land farming and irrigation facilities, developing wasteland and enhancing capability of the community through skill-based trainings in farming techniques have been the prime objectives of these livelihood initiatives. With many such interventions for creating a sustainable livelihood for farmers in Noamundi, several locals have gained confidence in agriculture as a primary source of income to support their families.