Reported By : Ms. Sukanya Chatterjee, Assistant Manager, Kolkata
Koraput, Odisha: Niraniguda is one of the hamlet village in laxmipur block. Around 129 families hailing from the poorest section of the society are native of the village. Agriculture is the primary source of livelihood for the villagers. Due to insufficient land for cultivation in the area, the villagers had no option but were forced to cultivate in the nearby hilly areas. Soil erosion was of the major issue which impeded cultivation.
In a bid to address the livelihood concerns of the villagers, IGSSS started its intervention in the area under its livelihood programme SOUL (Sustainable Options for Uplifting Livelihood). Around 25 hectare waste land was identified through the vulnerability assessment tool by the IGSSS project team along with the support of the farmers. Besides, the IGSSS team also encouraged the farmers to initiate cashew cultivation. Cashew is an hardy crop, it can be grown on any kind of soil and it helps to prevent soil erosion.
During preparation of the village level micro plan, the Niraniguda Village Development Association (VDA) advocated for cashew plantation to be initiated as a sustainable livelihood model. One nursery was proposed to be set up in the village for cashew seeding preparation. Around 4000 cashew seedling was provided to the VDA under the SOUL programme.
With active involvement of the Niraniguda Village Development Association (VDA) members and the villagers, five hectare cashew plantation was set up in Niraniguda village along with the support from IGSSS. Presently; Niraniguda Village Development Association (VDA) is managing cashew plantation. The programme is now perceived as a sustainable source of livelihood for the villagers.