*Representational image credit News Today Jharkhand
During the financial year 2020-21, the Government of Jharkhand was ranked amongst best performing states in terms of generating the highest number of man-days under MGNREGA. Additionally, the government was successful in providing a sustainable source of livelihood to the vulnerable and economically weaker population in the state by introducing the Birsa Harit Gram Yojna.
Through this scheme, 26,41,429 saplings of fruit trees have been planted across 263 blocks in 24 districts, encompassing a total area of 25695.3 acres and covering 30,023 beneficiaries during 2020-21.
Under this scheme, Mango, Guava, Lemon, Jackfruit, Thai Berries, Custard Apples have been planted along with certain aromatic species of plants like Lemon Grass, and Palmaros to create a long-term livelihood opportunity for the rural population in the state.
Prior to the launch of Birsa Harit Gram Yojna, in the years 2016-20, only 7741 beneficiaries could be benefitted from the plantation scheme.
During the launch of the scheme, Chief Minister Hemant Soren had commented, “this scheme will not only help in providing 100 days of employment to the tribal, small, and marginal farmers, but it will also create a long term sustainable livelihood solution for the beneficiaries.”
The objective with which the Chief Minister inaugurated the Birsa Harit Gram Yojna under MGNREGA is now yielding results.
*Plantation drives focus on economically weaker families*
Under the scheme, mainly the plantation of Mango, Guava, Lemon is being promoted. The plantation drive mostly focuses on areas which are inhabited by the economically weaker population. Additionally, the government land and roadside barren spaces are also being covered under the plantation drives.
For the year 2020-21, approximately 3,26,800 fruit trees and 8,00,000 timber plants are sprouting over a space of 31667.68 acres, inhabited by 37764 rural families in the state. Apart from this, 150 acres of land is being utilized to promote Tasar production and lacquer rearing.
*Govt-run capacity building programs increase productivity*
The goal of the state government is not limited to employment, economic empowerment, and asset creation, but also the capacity building of the beneficiaries.
To build upon the capacity of the respective beneficiaries under Birsa Harit Gram Yojana and MGNREGA, 45 state-level trainers, 800 block-level chief instructors, and 4840 horticulture friends at the panchayat/village level have been trained for the purpose.
The training program is helping ensure a high survival rate of 88% for the plants. In light of the clear directives of the state government, the standard of purchasing horticulture-related materials is being seriously monitored.
National Horticulture Board recognized Nurseries have been enlisted for the purchase of quality saplings . The saplings have been procured through tenders from the listed nurseries.