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Odisha launches special action plan to reduce Migration problem in the state and create Livelihood Opportunities

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Workers in India (representational Image), VOA

Bhubaneswar, April 29, 2017: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday announced a special action plan to reduce migration problem in the state and create livelihood opportunities.

Initially, the action plan would be implemented in Bolangir and Nuapada districts. It would be scaled up and replicated in other migration-prone areas in a phased manner, he said.

The special action plan has been prepared for intense action in 30 gram panchayats of the two districts to curb migration and facilitate creation of livelihood opportunities for migrant workers within the state.

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“I am sure the plan would help in providing alternate livelihoods to address migration in Bolangir and Nuapada districts by improving the household income of poor families and reduce their vulnerability,” said the Chief Minister.

He said it would eventually serve as a blueprint for scaling up to other migration prone districts of the state.

It is expected that Rs 134 crore would be spent in the areas.

The Odisha government on Saturday also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tata Trusts to reduce migration in Bolangir and Nuapada districts.

The Odisha government will bring in the expertise of Tata Trusts in developing appropriate information, education and communication (IEC) materials and disseminate it for behavioural change, introduce people friendly and easy to use technologies for registration of migrant workmen and support development of database for welfare of migrant workers.

To strengthen policy initiative, the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRDPR), Hyderabad was requested to conduct a short-term study in the districts of Bolangir, Bargarh, Kalahandi and Nuapada for suggesting alternative avocation/livelihood opportunities for migrant workers.

The NIRDPR report suggested short term, medium term and long-term measures which can be implemented within the existing development initiatives, said a release.

The suggestions of NIRDPR have been incorporated in the agreed activities under the MoU with Tata Trusts to initiate interventions initially in 30 gram panchayats of Bolangir and Nuapada districts, the release added. (IANS)

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This is How Stubble Burning is Avoided in Odisha

The state is one of the largest producers of rice in the country

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Stubble Burning, Odisha, North India
Agriculture in Odisha is the mainstay of the majority of the populace. Pixabay

Unlike north India, crop stubble burning is not prevalent in Odisha even though it has started making inroads unto several parts of the coastal state.

Air pollution due to stubble burning has turned a critical health hazard in north India.

Agriculture in Odisha is the mainstay of the majority of the populace. The state is one of the largest producers of rice in the country. The state government has fixed a target of procuring 60 lakh metric tonnes of paddy during the kharif marketing season (KMS), 2019-20.

However, instead of burning the stubble, the farmers use the paddy straw in various ways such as cattle feed, compost manure, roofing of thatched houses, biomass energy and mushroom cultivation.

Stubble Burning, Odisha, North India
Air pollution due to stubble burning has turned a critical health hazard in north India. Pixabay

“In Odisha, we don’t resort to paddy residue burning unlike in north India where pollution level has increased manifold due to crop stubble burning and other reasons. We cut down the paddy straw and bring it for using cattle fodder and roofing of thatched houses,” said farmer leader Akshay Kumar.

“I have purchased paddy straw of Rs 50,000 for mushroom cultivation. I have been doing mushroom cultivation for several years. Sometimes, I have purchased paddy straw at a higher price as many people have adopted the cultivation since it gives good profit,” said Stephenson Sahu from Patharkhamb village in Dhenkanal district.

Moreover, Odisha is going to have a Second Generation (2G) Ethanol Bio-Refinery, first in the country to produce ethanol using rice straw as feedstock, in Bargarh district, one of the major paddy producing districts in the state.

The bio-refinery to be set up by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) will utilise about two lakh tonnes of rice straw annually as feedstock which will be sourced from nearby locations.

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The agriculture sector provides employment to more than 60 per cent of the population, making it the largest employment sector of the state.

The state has total geographical area of 155.71 lakh hectares of which total cultivated land is about 61.80 lakh hectares, which constitute about 39.69% of the total geographical area of the state. Small and marginal farmers form more than 90% of the farming community, according to a report of the Agriculture Department. (IANS)