Sundergarh: Cultivation of various types of vegetables is being promoted to ensure the livelihood of tribal farmers in the Sundergarh district. Among these, cauliflower is a major crop. There is a good demand for this cauliflower in the market as tribal farmers do it organically. Farmers are getting a lot of profit by selling the produce.
Cauliflower is being cultivated under the State Government’s ‘Mission Jibika’ programme. The Sundargarh Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) is providing necessary support to the farmers for this initiative.
“Various programs are being undertaken by Sundergarh ITDA to improve the financial condition of tribal farmers. Under ‘Mission Jibika’, priority is given to agriculture and horticulture-based programs aimed at providing long-term livelihood to farmers,” ITDA Project Administrator Ramakrushna Gond said.
There are total 9 blocks under Sundargarh ITDA. Out of it, cauliflower is being cultivated in 3 blocks – Balishankra, Hemgir and Kutra. In the financial year 2022-23, 315 farmers cultivated 250 acres of land. After the cauliflower is harvested, the farmers can sell it in the nearby markets and earn good money.
“The cauliflower produce is really good in this season and the returns are also very satisfying. Cauliflower production has also improved due to good seed availability. This year, we have got more profit from cauliflower than last year,” a Kutra-based farmer Harun Barua said.
Sundargarh ITDA is providing free seeds and organic fertilizers to farmers for cauliflower cultivation. Besides, the experts of Jibika Mission visit the field and assess the condition of crops. The experts’ team gives necessary advice to the farmers to manage the pests in cauliflower.
“Earlier we used chemical fertilizers in cauliflower cultivation. We are now using organic fertilizers as they are provided free of cost. As a result, cauliflower is getting a good harvest this time,” said Premdhani Beg, a woman farmer in Sundergarh.
Cabbage has been cultivated in Rajbasa and Kandeimunda gram panchayats of Kutra block under Sundargarh ITDA. Similarly, the farmers of Kendudihi, Garjanjori and Hemgir panchayats of Hemgir block along with Tumulia, Sagbahal and Beheradihi panchayats of Balisankara block have cultivated this crop.
Farmers of Sundargarh district are able to earn more by cultivating different types of crops under Mission Jibika (livelihood) Programme. This year they have grown tomatoes, chilly, brinjal and potatoes, along with the cauliflower. However, as cauliflower is a seasonal crop, it has been very helpful in improving the economic status of tribal families.