Bhubaneswar: Odisha will go for a World Bank Loan of $49Million to implement Rejuvenating Watershed for Agricultural Resilience through Innovative Development (REWARD).
Odisha was one of three States to have planned for such an ambitious program.
Other two States were Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The program would generally be implemented over a period of six years.
The approximate cost of the project was estimated around 211.57 million dollar out of which State and central Government would provide around 162.57 million dollar through convergence of different schemes; and, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of the World Bank would provide 49 million dollar as loan.
Chief Secretary SC Mahapatra held a meeting with senior officials to chalk out a road map for REWARD Program.
Secretary Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment Sri Suresh Kumar Vashishtha outlined the issues; and Pritee Kumar of World Bank with her team presented the proposed intervention and outcome details of the program.
It was decided to treat around 1.15 lakh hect of land under 152 micro-watershed units in five pilot districts namely Koraput, Nayagarh, Djenkanal, Deogarh and Sambalpur in the first phase. Besides, around 4.11 lakh hect of land in seven districts covering about 533 micro-watershed units would be covered both for pilot intervention and intensive agriculture.
These seven districts included Nabarangpur and Sundargarh in addition to above five districts. As such, target was set to cover a total of around 5.26 lakh hectors of land spreading over 705 micro-watersheds under the proposed REWARD projects.
The expected ecological outcomes of the project include prevention of soil run-off, regeneration of natural vegetation, rain water harvesting and recharging of the ground water table. This would enable multi-cropping and adoption of diverse agro-based activities for providing sustainable livelihoods to the people in the watershed area. Chief Secretary Sri Mahapatra directed to complete designing of the project by end of July, 2021.