Bokaro: The ESL Steel Limited of Vedanta group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Government Seva Sanh (GSS) with an objective to create a farm-based livelihood opportunity for 500 farmers in its surroundings. The aim is to develop a 500-acre agricultural hub in and around ESL corporate social responsibility (CSR) operational area.
The project will be commenced under the PPP (Public Private Partnership) model. The agreement was signed by CGM, NABARD, A K Padhi, CEO, ESL, Pankaj Malhan and secretary, GSS, Vikash Rao Sathe. The project has four components: Soil and water management, orchard development, sustainable agriculture and development of farmers based institution.
Malhan said, “This is the most popular developmental program of NABARD. Under the WADI project, tribal families are supported for developing a one-acre orchard in waste or dry land owned by them, along with inter-cultivation”. The operational areas of villages with tribal communities will benefit from this project.
Under this project, 90% beneficiary would be from the tribal community while the tribal population of the village must be around 35 to 40 percent of the total population. Padhi said, “at NABARD, we aim to offer financial assistance for agriculture, and promote rural development”.
Meanwhile, Sathe added that, “we value this association with NABARD and ESL since we all stand for a common cause – sustainable tribal livelihood. The project is aimed at promoting livelihood through water conservation, creating a social forestry, and redesigning existing agriculture intervention”.