Bhubaneswar, 5/7 ( Odisha Samachar/Abhisek Mohanty) : The plant lovers and fruit growers have reasons to cheer as Odisha becomes a surplus state in quality planting materials for fruit bearing trees. State is not required to import fruit saplings form outside which was the practice till last planting season. This has come to light in a high level review meeting held under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Jugal Kishore Mohapatra in Secretariat conference hall today wherein Principal Secretary Agriculture Rajesh Verma outlined the issues for discussion and Director Horticulture Sanjeeb Chadha made the presentation on updated status of fruit plantation in the State. Because of timely interventions and regular monitoring activities during the last years, State has become self sufficient in fruit bearing planting materials.
The Director Horticulture Mr. Chadha said “We are now in a position to export some of the species to other states only except totapuri mango variety”. He added that we will also soon become self sufficient in totapuri variety. At present, around 111.01 lakh planting materials of various fruit species are available in departmental firms, OUAT, OSCD and private nurseries of the State.
The saplings have already been allotted to different districts for plantation during the current season, and, it is expected that targeted plantation for the current year will be achieved by September.
Chief Secretary Mr. Mohapatra has directed to take up plantation of fruit bearing trees in the fenced campus of ashram schools. ‘One child one plant’ has been adopted as the slogan for this campaign. Secretary SC & ST development Sri Sanjeeb Mishra present in the meeting informed that there are about 3,50,00 students in Ashram Schools of the State. He has also directed to have ‘sky watch monitoring’ of horticultural plantations through remote sensing devices. It has been resolved in the meeting that no permission will be required for cutting of old cashew trees from revenue land for the purposes of replacing them with new saplings, as cashew is a non-forest species.
The meeting has also resolved to carry forward the convergence of horticultural plantation with OTELP, ITDA and Watershed projects. The funds from MGNREGA have also been roped in to this activity through convergence.
Available data shows there has been constant endeavor for horticultural plantation over the years. In the year 2011-12 and 2012-13 fruit plantation was done in around 24,176 and 23,708 hectors respectively. The plantation area increased to 29,020 hectors during the year 2013-14. Action Plan has been drawn for fruit plantation over 32583 hectares during 2014-15, thereby marking a growth of around 34% over 2011-12. Mango has been the dominant species of plantation in the State over the years. Other species planted include litchi, lime, orange, cashew, aonla, oil palms, banana, sapota, papaya and custard apple. For 2014-15 ground level activities have been taken up for plantation of mangos of different variety over 13,550 hectares, litchi over 200 hectares, guava over 110 hectares, lime over 115 hectares, pomegranate over 50 hectares., orange over 100, cashew over 7700, coconut over 2666 hectares, oil palm over 4800 hectares, banana over 2797 hectares, papaya over 250 hectares and pine apple over 245 hectares.
The Principal Secretary Forest & environment Sri Raj Kumar Sharma, Secretary Panchayati Raj Mr. Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh, Additional PCCF Sri A.K. Mohapatra along with other senior officers from concerned departments participated in discussions..