Sixty acres of barren land afforested in Odisha’s Kalahandi district


By GV News Desk

24 July 2020

Executed jointly by InterGlobe Foundation and Gram Vikas, the  ‘Community-owned Social and Agroforestry’ project helped afforest over 60 acres of barren land in Odisha’s Kalahandi district. Monitoring data shows not just an increase in forest cover but also improved water discharge from Springs in the areas despite a reduction in the rainfall received.

The project, which began in November 2018, aimed at enabling erstwhile forest-dependent communities, who had limited access to forest resources, to create, own and manage their own productive forests. It trained the  Village Water Sanitation Committee (VWSC) leaders, SHG members and farmers on participatory management of the natural resources. 

Facilitated by Gram Vikas, village committees reached a consensus on roles and responsibilities, sharing of costs, selection of species to be planted, and its protection and care during and after the intervention. 

In order to restore the deforested land, the community chose quick-growing plant varieties such as indigenous plant species of Chakunda, Karanja, Simarua and Mahaneem. With vegetation now being restored, the forest-dwelling communities will have access to the forest for fuel and other extracts. Soil protection activities, based on watershed principles, reduces rainfall runoffs and soil erosion. The VWSC supported the village community training in constructing field bunds to conserve soil moisture and prevent soil erosion. 

Gram Vikas team in association with VWSCs and village cadres also carried out springsheds monitoring activities and interventions. As per the monitoring data, there has been an increase in spring discharge despite receiving relatively lesser rainfall in comparison to the previous year.

Further, the community developed thirty acres of privately owned, barren land across the project sites, Nuapada and Tentulipada villages, into cultivable plots. Cash crops like cashew and mango will be grown here. 

In December 2019, the project was completed within a total cost of ₹ 25 lakh. Community members contributed 16% or ₹471,000 of the total cost. Additionally, the project generated 9,300 person-days of work worth ₹9,30,000 benefitting 230 households with an additional source of income.

Learn more about the project here: https://bit.ly/3jLnWFk

Watch the video on the impact of afforestation in our partner villages here: https://bit.ly/3hBxrFg

Gram Vikas staff doing the geological survey in Tentulipada village, Thuamul Rampur block of Kalahandi district.

Photograph by Ashutosh Bhat


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