Series of schemes taken up by the Panchayat and Rural Development department in the past five years to make rural populace economically self reliant by using funds under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme have created wonders and have changed the quality of life of thousands of people throughout the state.
People coming from economically challenged background who never dreamt of becoming economically independent are earning money by doing fish cultivation or by manufacturing bricks from fly ash. Even the residents of leper colony in Bankura who got cured but used to earn livelihood by begging because of social stigma are on the way to achieve self reliance through mango and vegetable cultivation in Bankura
The good work of the department has been accepted by the ministry of Rural Development and in recognition the Centre has given an award early this year. It may be mentioned Nadia has become country’s first Open Defecation Free (ODF) district.
The district is going ahead of other districts in generating quality horticulture produce like gerbera flowers, capsicum under shed-net house and poly house by using MGNREGA fund. Two gram panchayats, Dharmada and Bilwagram Gram under Nakashipara block have become specialists in this field.
Large numbers of poly house, shed-net houses have been constructed under National Horticulture Mission in convergence with MGNREGA Scheme. Since 2015-16 financial year, MGNREGA scheme alone is contributing in the construction of poly houses in 7 organic villages.
Shade-net house is a framed structure of GI pipes, angle iron, wood or bamboo, covered with plastic
net having different shade percentages. It provides partially controlled atmosphere and environment by reducing light intensity and effective heat during day time to crops grown under it. These structures are used for better quality produce, higher productivity, off-season cultivation, better insect and disease control and reduced use of pesticides, nursery raising , hardening of crops, efficient use of resources, high value crop production and more profits etc.
Poly houses with iron frame structure used to be 500 sq metre or 1000 sq metre while under low cost poly house using bamboo structure used to be 200 sq metre and 400 sq metre.
District Magistrate, Vijay Bharti said: “This year, we have taken up 92 poly houses in the district to make more quality production after observing that the farmers are getting more profit from limited areas with controlled cultivation system. Initially, the Horticulture department implemented the schemes under NHM and MGNREGA contributed land development in few cases. Now, schemes are being taken up as horticulture department is giving the poly houses at 50 per cent subsidy rate. We are making the scheme so that the vulnerable households get the schemes 100 per cent free of cost under MGNREGA.”
More than 50 such poly houses have already been constructed. One of the pioneer farmer, Ananda Biswas of Dharmada said, with 1000 sq metre he is earning about 5 lakhs from capsicum and gerbera under poly house protected cultivation from iron framed poly house cultivation. It is seen that from 200 sq low cost poly house structure with bamboo profits became Rs. 50,000 per year.
District MGNREGA cell is looking to establish poly houses with low cost model with treated bamboo structure instead of galvanised iron structure to construct more poly houses under the scheme to incorporate more and more farmers under the scheme.