Integrated Tribal Development Authority on the path to make tribals self-sufficient

Bhadrachalam (Kothagudem): The tribals in and around Bhadrachalam are now engaged in vegetable cultivation, floriculture and other similar income generating activities, thanks to the initiatives taken by the Integrated Tribal Development Authority of Bhadrachalam.

The ITDA has been training the tribals in vegetables and sweet corn cultivation and floriculture with the help of Natural Farming Training Centre in half acre of land on the premises of ITDA office.

“Farmers most of the times take up a single crop and suffer losses if the crop is hit by rains, pests or drought. Hence, they are being told to dedicate small piece of land to take up crops like sweet corn, vegetable or floriculture. About 15 varieties of vegetables and crops are grown in half-an-acre land,” Nagaiah, Assistant Director, Horticulture department said.

The purpose of this centre is to support tribal farmers to boost their income by bringing small chunks of land to use. As tribals have large areas near their houses, it can be used to grow vegetables to make some money and we explain how they can do it, he said.

The idea of setting up Natural Farming Training Centre was mooted by the ITDA Project Officer Pamela Satpathy to help farmers earn additional income by growing vegetables and flowers which can be harvested in less time.

Around 50 tribal farmers have been getting trained at the centre since last June and all of them are earning extra income by selling vegetables and flowers at Bhadrachalam market and other places.

The tribal farmers are also being trained in the production of vermicompost, organic compost using Nadep compost pits and Azolla bio-fertiliser, used as fertiliser in rice production, Nagaiah said. The centre is also producing gambusia fish (mosquito fish) seedlings to distribute to tribals to address mosquito menace, he added.