By Sibdas Kundu

  • Change the life of over 4000 Tribal families 
  • Rubber cultivation in 6400 acres
  • Dist. Admin. in touch with private tyre company for procurementBaripada, 6th June, 2016 (OdishaLIVE Bureau): Rubber cultivation in Mayurbhanj district has scripted a turnaround success story by brings a sea change in socio-economic status of the tribal residents. Not only this cultivation has positively impacted on the life and livelihood of the tribal families also more and patches which were once left as barren are turning green.

    A  small pilot project of the government and Rubber Board which undertaken in the year 1993  has moved  a long way  in  combating  the livelihood issue of the district in general and the tribal of  small villages  in particular.

    Till 2013, while it was cultivated in 1400 acres of land, within 3 year this plantation has spread to another 5000 acres due to aggressive approach of the district administration with the convergence of different government schemes, giving the farmers exposure, supplementing technical knowhow and market linkage.

    The present scenario is that about 4,000 tribal farmers are directly involved in the rubber farming sector.

    “There is a positive impact of rubber plantation in the district. The tribals were once only depending on the paddy cultivation or forest produce now are able to earn 75K to 90K per annum from each acre,” said the district collector, Mayurbhanj  Rajesh Pravakar Patil.

    “The rubber plantation  couldn’t progress till 2013 from 1993 due to some reasons and others  yet now within last three years it  has picked up momentum. The rubber is non-perishable and long term sustainable cultivation are key advantages. Besides, for the marketing of their produce linkage has been found, even discussions with a private tyre producing company, Birla tyres, recently,” he said adding the farmers were given training and exposures visit in Kerala and Tripura the major rubber producing states.

    The pilot project went on a long way to affects socio-economic condition and lifestyle of the people’s drastically of the project area and the other areas of the district where people came forward to take up the project in their prospective planning.

    With rubber plantation the socio-economic graph is showing upward trend and the present situation is that every household has satellite antenna, motor bike and other modern goods and gadgets.

    Sukhram Singh of Kendubadi, Jitwan Singh of Jadunathpur and Ramesh Singh of Madhupur are the beneficiaries who had initially evinced interest  in the cultivation now have become model in their area and imparting training to the farmers who are interested  to take up the cultivation, after their exposure training to other states.

    “Of course, rubber plantation has proved as a boon for us. There are several government schemes where we get free food, house and other materials yet the rubber has proved extremely lucrative. Every household belonging to the rubber cultivation has DTH connection, and motor bike. Now we can afford with fees for our children if they wish to go for medial, engineering or management courses,’ says Prakash Soren, a tribal leader.

    Currently, Rubber plantation is pursued  mainly at  Jadunathpur under Badsahi Block, Kendubadi   under Shamakhunta Block  and  Kumargadia under Morada Block. Besides plantation patches, the district has to set up two processing units.

    “The programme is undertaken by the Rubber Board in association with the Integral Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) and District Rural Development Agency (DRDA),” said the project manager livelihood Aryasuta Aparna Bhadra.

    “In some patches rubber is being produced and some others in the process of yielding.  A plant while takes about 7 years to yield the farmers also doing inter cropping,” she added.

    For rubber plantation the district’s climate is moderately conducive.

    “It is being undertaken in the high land patches in the foot hill villages around Simlipal sanctuary. These patches were almost barren once but now they have proved worthy,” says Brahmanada Behera, project assistant, ITDA, Baripada.

    An environment lover, Bibhudatta Das said, “By rubber plantation in over 6,000 acres of land at least these patches have added to the green cover of the district.”

    “Multiple benefits are being observed besides improvement in life and livelihood of local tribals,” he added.

 

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