Posts filed under ‘Agriculture’

Western Odisha onion farmers lose out to middlemen

Following is a report from the Hindu:

Lack of storage facilities and farmers’ cooperatives has led to this situation

Even as onion price has started to shoot up, farmers in western Odisha — especially in Bolangir, Kalahandi and Nuapada districts — are rueing for missing out a chance for reaping profits.

Majority of farmers in the region have either sold their stocks to middlemen or disposed of produces in open market at a price very low by any market standard. The price of onion at farmers’ level had varied between Rs. 3 and Rs 9 per kg.

The reason for this situation is absence of storage facilities and farmers’ cooperatives.

Moreover, farmers have no access to bigger market from where they could get fair price of their produces.

The prevailing poverty level in the region is also adding to the woes. As soon as their crop is ready for harvest, farmers sell it either in the open market or to middlemen at whatever price offered to them.

Odisha produced 432,052 metric tonnes of onion in 2013-14. Bolangir alone had production of 123,006 mt accounting for more than 28 per cent of State’s production.

Similarly, Kalahandi and Nuapada districts had produced 31,888 mt and 11,414 mt respectively.


While the highest onion productivity was found to be 14.74 mt per hactre in Bolangir, the productivity in Kalahandi and Khariar is 13.32 mt and 13.46 mt per hactre respectively. Only Angul district with 13.55 mt per hectare of productivity matches with these three western Odisha districts.

“I had taken up onion cultivation in two acres of land. Although the production was below my expectations after being affected by three days of unseasonal rain during May, my profit margin could have been more in view of rapidly rising onion price in the market. But we hardly have any storage facility to preserve our produce,” Ram Narayan Singh, a farmer in Khariar block of Nuapada district, said.

He said unless farmers’ cooperative is not developed with government back-up in the region, farmers would continue to fall victim to distress sale.

The region, known as Odisha’s Nasik, could keep volatile price of onion in check if basic infrastructure facilities and services are provided to farmers.


June 21, 2014 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

The Lower Suktel dilemma

Following editorial is from the Samaja:


April 12, 2013 at 6:28 am 2 comments

Lower Suktel: problems and controversy

Following report is from the Sambad:

October 27, 2012 at 2:28 am Leave a comment

Paharia tribals celebrate Nuankhai in a unique way

Following report is from TOI:

Balangir: The Paharia tribals living in remote villages of Nuapada district have a unique way of celebrating Nuakhai. They offer liquor and meat to their presiding deity before having the new crop. The eldest member of a Paharia family worships the deity called the Duma and makes the offering.

“It has been our tradition to offer meat and liquor to the deity before partaking the new crop. After this ritual, all community members congregate at one place to join the feast,” said Satrughan Paharia. “Except this, all other rituals are same. It is the eldest member of the family, who gives the new crop to other members. Other communities offer only the new crop,” said Sriram Paharia.

The Paharias are concentrated in Bargaon, Bhainsadani, Katingpani and some villages inside the Sunabeda sanctuary.

Sources said the places where Paharias reside have turned into a Maoist den. The Paharias have been fighting for Primitive Tribal Group (PTG) status, which will help in their development. They would benefit under some special schemes too.

September 21, 2012 at 1:42 am Leave a comment

Gurbari r Nuankhai

September 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm Leave a comment

NUANKHEI: The worship of new grain

Nuankhai/Nuankhei is the festival of worship of food grain involving cutting of the first crop and reverent offering of the same to the mother goddess. The literary meaning of Nuankhai celebration is ‘eating of new rice’.

People start preparing for the celebration of Nuankhai before a fortnight. The preparation includes cleaning houses (lipa pucha) and buying of new clothes.

On the day of Nuankhai, early in the morning people worship the cattle, and equipments, tools, machines and all helpful aides relating to farming, showing obligation towards them. Afterwards follows ritualistic puja for the local deities. For example, the Kuilta caste people perform puja at the handisalfor kalapat, kumptipat etc; and they use mahul leaf plate ( khali ) and leaf cup (dana) to serve food and other purpose.

Nuanchara is eaten in different leaves by people of different castes. After the ritualistic puja at their presiding deities, all the family members sit together and eat the nuanchara and take the blessings of elders.

Nuankhai in other Tribes

According to various researchers, evidences can be found of Nuankhai been observed more or less by the entire major tribes in central and eastern India, of course, with a minor difference in their nomenclature. In this context, instances can be given of Jeth Nawakhai among the Dudh Kharia and Pahari Kharia, Nawakhani amongst the Oraon and Birjia, Jom Nawa among the Munda and Birjia,Janther or Baihar-Horo Nawai by the Santal, Gondli Nawakhani by the tribal people of Ranchi district, Nawa by the Birjia, Nawa-Jom by the Birhor, Dhan Nawakhani by Korwa and so on.

Also, researchers have mentioned about the Nawakhani festival of the Paraja, a small tribe found in the Bastar region and Odisha. Santals in Santal Pargana term it as Jom Nawa. Also there are evidences that Nuakhai is also celebrated in Tripura and named as Mikatal where Mi stands for paddy and Katal refers to new.

Saket Sreebhushan Sahu, Editor BENI, Bargarh, Odisha

September 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm 3 comments

Lower Suktel Irrigation Project of Balangir district: Politics and Reality

Following report is from the Samaja:

September 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm 4 comments

Work on Lower Suktel project to start from September 27: Govt

Following report is from the Pioneer:

Bowing to pressure from the Opposition Congress and in a bid to foil the call given by the Balangir Citizens’ Committee and the Lower Suktel Action Committee (LSAC) for Balangir bandh on Friday, the State Government on Thursday announced in the House that construction work of the already delayed Lower Suktel Irrigation Project (LSIP) would start from September 27.

However, the State Assembly during zero hour witnessed a war of words between two political heavy weights of the erstwhile Balangir royal familiy – uncle AU Singh Deo, senior vice-president of the BJD and former Minister and his nephew

Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo, floor leader of the BJP and also a former Minister —  over the inordinate delay in starting work on the Lower Suktel Project which is yet see the light of the day after 11 years of  its administrative clearance.

The issue which was raised for the consecutive third day in the House since the beginning of the monsoon session with the BJP lawmaker from

Patnagarh drawing the attention of Speaker PK Amat to the indefinite hunger strike  undertaken by the LSAC demanding early establishment of the irrigation project.

Since the condition of the strikers continued to be serious and two of them were already admitted in the local hospital in critical condition, he sought the Speaker to direct the Government to make a statement in the House on the fate of the project.

He alleged that due to insensitive attitude of the Government and the local ruling party leaders, the project was getting delayed while the district has only around four per cent of irrigation coverage.

The BJP member (KV) was critical of the statement of his uncle that the State Government had been reviewing the status of the project from time to time.

He ridiculed that if the review was being done, the Government should speak out as to what was the bottleneck for starting the project.

KV was joined by the two Congress MLAs — Santosh Singh Saluja and Surendra Singh Bhoi in slamming the Government for being neglectful towards the people of Balangir. The two Congress MLAs had alleged that the project could not be taken up due to lack of interest on the part of the State Government as a result of which the project cost had escalated from the original Rs215 crore to Rs1,200 crore.

Earlier the two Congress members Singh and Singh Bhoi had staged dharana in the House on the opening day and on the second day resorted to dharna near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Assembly premises, seeking a definite assurance from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is also the Water Resources Minister, concerning the fate of the project and a definite timeframe to start

the project.

However, former Minister and senior BJD vice-president AU Singh Deo tried to defend the Government in the political bout. Asserting that the State Government was committed to set up the project, Singh Deo in an indirect attack on his nephew and the Congress members said it was unfortunate that the entire issue was being given a political colour.

Knowing that the project would be started very soon, some

people have started agitation to defame the Government.

Sensing the gravity of the situation, the Speaker, who had earlier ruled that the Government would make a statement on the issue, revised his ruling, directing the Government to give a statement on the LSIP on Friday.

Anyway, in a calculated move in order to neutralise the Friday dawn-to-dusk Balangir band, Urban Development Minister Raghu Nath Mohanty made a statement on behalf the Chief Minister in the House in the evening.

Stating that the Government was committed to setting up of the LSIP, Mohanty said out of the 5,654 acres of land required for the project, so far the process for land acquisition has been competed in 1,574 acres. However, he clarified that due to opposition from some sections of people, the project was delayed.

He said as many as 5,309 families would be displaced for the proposed irrigation project. The Government had already constructed rehabilitation colony and as many as 684 families had agreed to shift to the new colony, he said.

The Minister said socio-economic survey is in process in 14 out of 29 villages coming under the project area. Mohanty announced in the House that work on the irrigation project will start from September 27.

Following image is taken from a FB post by OTV:

September 3, 2012 at 2:28 am 2 comments

Underdeveloped western Odisha: A look on WODC, KBK and Balangir district

Following report is from the Samaja:

August 1, 2012 at 8:03 am 1 comment

Balangir villagers demand completion of lower Suktel irrigation project

Following report is from the Pioneer:

Demanding speedy completion of construction works of lower Suktel irrigation project, people from around 22 villages of the affected areas held a meeting at Kankada in Bhundimuhann gram panchayat, 30 km from here, on Wednesday.

During the meeting, they threatened to close all the Government offices by picketing at Balangir on April 9, if their demand was not fulfilled.

Since 2005, the land acquisition for the irrigation project has been going on. However, the payment of compensation has not been completed. As a result, the welfare and development programmes of the Government were not implemented in the villages. As the compensation payment process for land acquisition has not been completed, people are not able to leave their villages and lands, informed Samajwadi Party district unit president Arun Mishra here.

The villagers demanded fixing of minimum of `10 lakh as compensation for one acre land, implementation of latest relief and rehabilitation policy and expediting of land acquisition process, Mishra informed further.

The project, for which work began in 2005, was marred by several financial irregularities. The lower Suktel irrigation project was approved at a cost of `216 crore. Meanwhile, the project cost has been raised to `1,047 crore, said sources.

The project would provide irrigation facilities to 31,830 hectares land of Balangir and Sonepur district.

April 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm 1 comment

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