As a key partner in the Odisha Livelihood Mission, ICRISAT recently initiated a Coconut Plantation Drive in Odisha, India, in bid to provide more livelihood options in the state, which was battered by a cyclone last year and the COVID-19 pandemic this year, witnessing extreme loss of crops and vegetation in recent times. Providing livelihood options for the populace, especially farmers, is a major step towards mitigating the loss.
The coconut plantation program in Badalasasan village, Khorda district in Odisha was preceded by activities such as soil sampling, pit area measurement, mechanical pit digging/filling, and usage of the MSoil application (which generates QR code-based data about location, cropping pattern, irrigation source etc.) as demonstrated by
Drs PK Mishra and PC Lenka.
After Mrs Binita Pradhan, the Sarpanch (Village Head) inaugurated the drive, Dr PK Mishra, Consultant, ICRISAT Development Center (IDC), elaborated on future plans including capacity building and training on best practices for farmers and OLM and further, to create value addition to coconut-based products to help increase net income of the farmers.
Dr Sreenath Dixit, Head, IDC; Dr Gajanan Sawargaonkar, Senior Scientist (Agronomy), IDC; Dr Rohan Khopade, Consultant, IDC; and Dr Mahadeva Reddy, Consultant, IDC also participated in the program virtually. Several simultaneous plantations were also conducted at Dugal village of Puri district in presence of local Sarpanch, OLM officials, NGO officials and village coordinators.