Vedanta helps Jharsuguda farmers restart their livelihood post-COVID second wave

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Jharsuguda: Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium and value-added products, distributed agricultural resources like seeds of various cash crops and vermicompost units to local farmers in Jharsuguda, helping them restart their livelihood post-COVID second wave. This was conducted as part of Vedanta Jharsuguda’s sustainable livelihood project ‘Jeevika Samriddhi’, which aims to introduce small and marginal farmers to better, more efficient, and sustainable methods of farming, thereby increasing their quantum of yield and sustained return on agricultural investments.

Vedanta also organized a training &consultation visit by Mr. Surendra Delki, Assistant Horticulture Office –Kolabira Block (Jharsuguda), Government of Odisha, to facilitate farmers’ access to expert advice on crop management. Besides sensitizing farmers on the advantages of organic farming and seed treatment, he also spoke about the various government schemes on agriculture that the farmers can benefit from.

Speaking on Vedanta’s interventions in sustainable livelihood, Mr. Deepak Prasad, Dy. CEO – Vedanta Ltd., Jharsuguda, said, “Sustainable livelihood is a key focus area in our community development agenda, and we have several high-impact projects on skill development, women’s empowerment, agriculture, entrepreneurship, etc. running at Jharsuguda. With the local communities recovering from the impacts of COVID-19, we are extending our support on various fronts to help them restart their livelihood. It has been our constant endeavour to foster flourishing livelihoods in the region, which will lead to long-term socio-economic development and sustained benefits to our local communities.”

Mr. Surendra Delki, Assistant Horticulture Office – Kolabira Block (Jharsuguda), Government of Odisha, appreciated the company’s initiative saying, “Vedanta has always been at the forefront when it comes to contributing towards the development of Jharsuguda. Their Jeevika Samridhhi project has benefited a lot of farmers in the region by introducing them to better and more efficient farming practices. I thank Vedanta for positively impacting more than 250 farming households till date, by introducing them to advanced agricultural practices as well as to the best practices in land & water management. The farmers supported by Vedanta have also benefited from convergence with various government schemes that has led to greater resource efficiency and better outcomes for them.”

Launched in 2017, Jeevika Samridhhi, was a joint initiative by Vedanta and SEWA (Social Education for Women’s Awareness), Jharsuguda. Highlights of this project:

  • It is currently being implemented in Gudigaon, Keldamal and Siriapali villages, involving more than 250 farming households.
  • The key pillars of the project are development of agriculture production cluster and formation of Farmer Producer Organizations, development of irrigation infrastructure in collaboration with government schemes, promotion of cash crops with advanced agricultural practices, technology integration to enhance productivity, post-harvest management and marketing of produce, mobilisation of government schemes through convergence, and trainings for farmers to augment their skills.
  • Till date, more than INR 58 lakhs of investment has been mobilized for the project through convergence with various government schemes for farmers.
  • Vedanta organizes regular consultation sessions for farmers with agriculture & horticulture experts, and is working on enrolling more farmers under the initiative.
  • During the pandemic, Vedanta digitalized dissemination of agriculture-related information and updates to local farmers, leveraging online collaboration platforms, WhatsApp messaging, etc. to keep them updated on information crucial for them.
  • There has been a 43.48% increase in household income of farmers enrolled under the project.
  • Because of Jeevika Samridhhi’s interventions, nearly 70% of the farmers now cultivate throughout the year, due to the resources and augmented irrigation facilities provided under Jeevika Samridhhi. This has been a massive shift from the seasonal cultivation that was prevalent earlier.

Vedanta’s social interventions in the domains of sustainable livelihood, quality education, women empowerment, health, water and sanitation, bio-investment and community infrastructure reach out to a total of 72 villages in Jharsuguda and nearby areas, benefiting nearly 80,000 people in a year. It empowers more than 4000 women from over 339 SHGs, provides doorstep healthcare services to about 32,000 people annually, gives educational support to more than 6400 students, has planted more than 1.48 lakh trees in partnership with locals at the community level.

Vedanta is India’s largest producer of the green metal, aluminium, operating a world-class 1.6 MTPA aluminium smelter and 3615 MW thermal power generation facility in Jharsuguda, Odisha. The only Indian smelter in the global ‘1 Million Tonne’ production and export club, Vedanta Jharsuguda is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications across core industries. With one of the largest technically qualified and diverse workforces in the country, the company is working towards a sustainable and greener future for all by spurring emerging applications of aluminium, the ‘Metal of the Future’.

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