Odisha Govt on Resolute Move for Promotion of Livelihood through Forestry

Annual Plans of Operation approved for FY 2022-23; Chief Secretary directed to boost livelihood activities to the level of sustainability

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government is now on a resolute move for enhancing livelihood activities through forestry. Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra today directed to intensify livelihood activities for making those sustainable even after end of the project period.

Mahapatra gave this direction while chairing the High Power Committee meeting of Odisha Forestry Sector Development Society (OFSDS) held on digital mode from Lokseba Bhawan.

Reviewing the progress made so far in the main constituents of OFSDP viz. Ama Jungle Yojana (AJY), OFSDP Phase-II, and Livelihood interventions through OMBADC; Chief Secretary Sri Mahapatra directed different departments to prop up the convergence of resources with OFSDS proactively for boosting sustainable livelihood programs in forest fringe villages. Sri Mahapatra said, “The people living in these villages are mostly poor, and they need to be assisted through income generation activities ( IGA). Such activities also add to conservation and growth of forest”.  He also directed to “ensure the survival of the seedlings with close supervision, and replace dead plants after resolving the cause of casualty”. It was decided to implement local specific IGAs through VSS and women’s self-help groups.

The committee also approved annual plans of operation (APO) of around Rs.13,201 lakh for OFSDP phase-II, and around  Rs. 5824 lakh for AJY. Besides, around Rs. 4,343 lakh financial outlay was made from OMBADC for livelihood activities.

The main activities under OFSDP included entry point activities, sustainable forest management, bio-diversity management, livelihood promotion, capacity building of VSS and SHGs, support activities, assisted natural plant regeneration and block plantation, construction of soil moisture conservation measures, forest protection, fire guarding, construction of IGA Center, community mobilization, product mapping of different VSSs, formulation of VSS wise livelihood plan and skill training.

Project Director Smt Meeta Biswal appraised that OFSDP was being implemented in 12 Forest Divisions and 2 Wildlife Divisions across 10 Districts. A total number of 1211 VSSs were actively involved at ground level in conservation, growth and promotional activities. Perspective 10-year micro-plans for all VSSs were also prepared by them. Around 56031 hectares of forest land were developed through them. Soil moisture conservation measures over 2250 hectares, fire lines across 1710 Kms and forest boundaries across 1900 KM were constructed, and being maintained through respective VSSs.  Six hi-tech nurseries with provision of raising around 4.40 lakh quality seedlings were also established and being run through them. A total of 4118 ha were covered under farm forestry with 29 lakh seedlings for providing remunerative income to members of 777 VSSs. The balance VSSs would be covered in phases.

Construction of Multi Product Clusters for aggregation and value addition of minor forest produce and agri-products were in process. Sal leaf clusters in three project divisions namely, Karanjia, Baripada and Rairangpur were made operational. More than 300 members from 66 VSSs were trained in Sal leaf stitching, and the making of cups and plates  Besides, Honey Cluster in Athmalik, and Multi-Product Cluster in Boudh forest division were also operationalised. An amount of around Rs. 46072.78 lakhs was invested or all these activities under OFSDP-II by end of July 2022.

Similarly, under AJY a total number of 4601 VSS and 14263 WSHGs across 22 territorial divisions were involved in various forest conservation and associated livelihood activities with an investment of around Rs.54,565.27 lakhs by end of July, 2022.

This apart,  Livelihood Projects in convergence with OMBADC was launched in 5 forest divisions covering about 900 VSSs from 25 forest ranges with a financial outlay of Rs. 4343 Lakhs. In the first phase, 3237 SHGs and 900 VSSs were included. Product mapping and authentication across the VSSs were also completed. Chief Secretary Sri Mahapatra directed to complete the VSS-wise sustainable livelihood and IGA plan soon.

Additional Chief Secretary Forest and Environment Sri Satyabrata Sahu, PCCF ( HoFF) Sri Debidatta Biswal, Principal Secretary Rural Development Sri Sanjaya Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary Finance Sri Vishal Kumar Dev, Project Director OFSDP Smt Meeta Biswal along with senior officers from concerned departments participated in the discussions.

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