Janak Sahu from Harekrushnapur village in Lanjigarh Block is one such farmer, who speaks the success of Shashya Shilpa Abhiyan. Prior to Vedanta, he, with his limited knowledge was practicing single crop (paddy) farming. The five acres of land, he owns, remained green for 120 to 140 days, in the Kharif season. Rest of the days in the year his land was left fallow and he has to go for daily labour to manage his family. His earning from agriculture was a paltry amount of Rs. 25,000/- a year. Same was case for most of the farmers in the locality.
It was a challenge for the CSR wing of Vedanta to ensure year round livelihood for average farming households and enhance their quality of life. The company adopted multifarious approaches, including training of farmers on benefit of commercially viable sustainable agriculture, organic farming, and managing irrigation by diverting the streams or by using water lift method, and integrated pest management. All agriculture guidance were provided free of cost. Materials help in terms seed, bio fertilizer and pesticides were also provided to the farmers.
Janak took advantage of the agriculture and livelihood promotion program by Vedanta. He participated in Training Sessions; Workshops organized by Vedanta and started practicing the modern and best agricultural techniques bringing into use quality seeds, organic fertilizers and other support. His irrigated land has increased from 0.75 acres to 5 acres. Regular monitoring, technical support rendered by VAL has helped him to increase the productivity of the land. This support by the Company motivated him and reaffirmed his faith with agriculture.
Unlike previous days, he started practicing double cropping along with vegetable cultivation in a large scale. His land remains green throughout the year. Now he earns about Rs. 80000/- a year.
Increased income has also enhanced his quality of life. He stresses on education of his young son and sends him to school regularly. He also owns a number of assets like electric connection, television, radio, etc in his house. He gives all the credit to Vedanta for the improved life. “Vedanta’s intervention has helped not only me but also other farmers in the area. With their support only I can now make a move from subsistence farming to commercial vegetable cultivation,” says Janak.