ANS I Bokaro: Under its prestigious WADI Project, ESL Steel, has successfully developed 200 acres of orchard in waste/dry land owned by the tribal families through inter cultivation. ESL, a Vedanta Group Company and a key national steel player, along with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Gramin Seva Sang (GSS) has planted 25000 mango, guava, and timber plants and so far benefitted 200 tribal farmer families.

The project also helps educate farmers on sustainable agriculture, improve their quality of life, and empower women in the tribal-dominated areas of the country.

In the future, the WADI Project aims to provide sustainable livelihood to 500 tribal families through soil and water management, orchard development, intercropping, and irrigation facilities. Other than that, the initiative helps to mitigate climatic, biological, and marketing risks.

On the occasion, NL Vhatte, CEO, ESL Steel Ltd., said, “WADI strengthens the agrarian livelihoods of the tribal families and increases their food and nutritional security. It is satisfying to witness the project achieve a milestone of 200 acres of orchard. Under the project, ESL organises exposure visits and sessions to train the farmers so that they can continue to grow and develop. I am proud of the project that aims to further reach out to more tribal families and offer them a brighter future. I thank NABARD and GSS for supporting the cause wholeheartedly.”

Launched earlier this year, the WADI Project helps a marginal farmer with intercropping with two strategically selected crops. Fruit-bearing trees are planted along with agricultural crops in each acre of land which helps to minimize climatic, biological and marketing risks.

DDM, NABARD, Philmon Bilung said, “Vedanta ESL has associated itself with NABARD under its CSR component to support the beneficiaries for providing irrigation facilities and other valuable livelihood guidance under the project. I appreciate the ESL team for collaborating and supporting towards the implementation of WADI Project in Chas and Chandankiyari block. We look forward to working with them again in other Skill Development Programmes to cater to larger population of the area.”

Along with the orchard-based activities, the WADI Project also covers financial assistance for Agri-allied activities such as animal husbandry and micro-enterprise development activities to cover more landless population for better income generation under the project. The other components of the projects include arrangements for irrigation, land development, skill/capacity development of community, women folk, children, and health development. The aim of the WADI project is to provide sustainable livelihood to tribal and nontribal household out of Orchard produce from 5th year onwards.

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