Bhubaneswar: In a move for enhancing livelihood activities through forestry, the State Government on Monday approved Annual Plans of Operation (APO) of around Rs.132.01 crore for the financial year 2022-23.
The High Power Committee of Odisha Forestry Sector Development Society (OFSDS) led by Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra has approved the APO.
The Committee has approved annual plans of operation (APO) of around Rs.132.01 crore for OFSDP phase-II, and Rs.58.24 crore for AJY. Besides, Rs. 43.43 crore financial outlay was made from OMBADC for livelihood activities.
Mr.Mahapatra directed to intensify livelihood activities for making those sustainable even after the end of the project period.
Reviewing the progress made so far in the main constituents of OFSDP viz. Ama Jungle Yojana (AJY), OFSDP Phase-II, and livelihood interventions through OMBADC; the Chief Secretary directed different departments to prop up convergence of resources with OFSDS proactively for boosting sustainable livelihood programs in forest fringe villages.
“The people living in these villages are mostly poor, and they need to be assisted through income generation activities (IGA). Such activities also add to conservation and growth of forest,” he said.
He also directed to “ensure survival of the seedlings with close supervision, and replace deceased plants after resolving the cause of casualty”. It was decided to implement local specific IGAs through VSS and Women Self Help Groups (SHGs).
The main activities under OFSDP included entry point activities, sustainable forest management, bio-diversity management, livelihood promotion, capacity building of VSS and SHGs, support activities, assisted natural plant regeneration and block plantation, construction of soil moisture conservation measures, forest protection, fire guarding, construction of IGA Center, community mobilization, product mapping of different VSSs, formulation of VSS wise livelihood plan and skill training.
Project Director Meeta Biswal apprised that OFSDP was being implemented in 12 Forest Divisions and 2 Wildlife Divisions across 10 Districts. A total number of 1211 VSSs were actively involved at ground level in conservation, growth and promotional activities. Perspective 10 year micro-plans for all VSSs were also prepared by them.
Around 56031 hectares of forest land were developed through them. Soil moisture conservation measures over 2250 hectares, fire lines across 1710 Kms and forest boundaries across 1900 KM were constructed, and being maintained through respective VSSs.
Six hi-tech nurseries with provision of raising around 4.40 lakh quality seedlings were also established and being run through them.
A total of 4118 hectares were covered under farm forestry with 29 lakh seedlings for providing remunerative income to members of 777 VSSs. The balance VSSs would be covered in phases.
Construction of Multi Product Clusters for aggregation and value addition of minor forest produce and agriproducts were in process. Sal leaf clusters in three project divisions namely, Karanjia, Baripada and Rairangpur were made operational, sources said.
More than 300 members from 66 VSSs were trained in Sal leaf stitching, making of cups and plates. Besides, the Honey Cluster in Athmallik, and Multi-Product Cluster in Boudh forest division were also operationalised.
An amount of around Rs. 460.72 crore was invested for all these activities under OFSDP-II by end of July, 2022.
Similarly, under AJY, a total number of 4601 VSS and 14263 WSHGs across 22 territorial divisions were involved in various forest conservation and associated livelihood activities with investment of around Rs 545.65 crore by end of July, 2022.
This apart, livelihood projects in convergence with OMBADC were launched in 5 forest divisions covering about 900 VSSs from 25 forest ranges with a financial outlay of Rs. 43.43 crore. In the first phase, 3237 SHGs and 900 VSSs were included.
Product mapping and authentication across the VSSs were also completed. Chief Secretary Sri Mahapatra directed to complete the VSS wise sustainable livelihood and IGA plan soon.
Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Forest and Environment Satyabrata Sahu, PCCF (HoFF) Debidatta Biswal, Principal Secretary Rural Development Sanjaya Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary Finance Vishal Kumar Dev, Project Director OFSDP Meeta Biswal along with senior officers from concerned departments participated in the discussions.