Kendrapara, July 29 (LocalWire): Many COIVD hit migrant returnees are taking to planting coconut trees on their land in Kendrapara, thanks to the MGNREGA scheme of the government.
“We have planned to distribute 17,500 coconut saplings to be planted on 100 hectares of land in the first phase.
7000 saplings have already been distributed; all these trees will bear fruits after five years,” said Kanda Keshari Jena, the Assistant Director of horticulture department of Kendrapara.
“Our department is using the Coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to transform the vacant land into coconut farms.
Farmers can plant 175 coconut saplings per hectare of land,” he added.
“On Monday, we provided 1050 coconut saplings to 40 returnees, which they planted on their land in Korand village under Rajkanika block.
A worker gets Rs 207 for doing plantation work under MGNREGA. The cost of a coconut sapling is Rs 60. But we provide it to them free of cost,” added the officer.
“We also provided them with fertilizers and pesticides and helped them fence the coconut orchards.
The scheme will certainly help small and marginal farmers and returnee workers,” added the officer.
“I planted 80 coconut saplings over my land after the officials provided the saplings to me free of cost.
I hope to earn money after five years by selling coconuts,” said Mahendra Das, a villager of Korand who was working as a plumber in Mumbai.
Two months back he returned from Mumbai due to COVID-19.
Like Mahendra, many farmers are confident of earning good money from their coconut farming.
The officials of the horticulture department provided training to coconut growers, for which many farmers managed to learn methods of coconut farming.