MNREGA labourers can now “Plant tree, earn money”

Green India mission’s scheme to be source of livelihood

Bhopal, July 12, 2015 (Ataullah Faizan): Along with employment, large number of livelihood opportunities are also being made available to needy card holder rural families under MNREGA. Now, with convergence of MNREGA and horticulture, saplings of profit earning trees will be plant on the land of landholder labourers. Through plantation in one acre land, a beneficiary will earn Rs. 50 thousand to Rs. 2.75 lakh per annum after just 3 to 5 years. MNREGA cardholder farmers possessing minimum 0.4 hectare land, irrigation source and arrangements to nurture plants can avail benefit of this scheme. Plants of fruit bearing trees, flowers, medicinal and aromatic plants, which are permanent sources of income, will be planted under the scheme. Plants like banana, papaya etc which give early income can also be planted. Government of India has set a target of such plantations on 50 lakh hectares in entire country during next decade through convergence of MNREGA and Green India Mission. MNREGA’s 30 lakh eligible families will be associated with it.

ACS Panchayats & Rural Development Mrs.. Aruna Sharma and Principal Secretary Horticulture Mr. Praveer Krishna are sending directives and guidelines to field staff regarding plantation of fruit bearing trees’ saplings on eligible beneficiaries’ land through convergence of MNREGA and Horticulture Department. SC, ST, scheduled notified tribes and BPL beneficiaries will be eligible under the scheme.

The families whose heads are women, widows and beneficiary family of land reform under Indira Aawas Yojana can also be given scheme’s benefit. Holders of forest right certificate under Forest Rights Act and the small and marginal farmers as defined under Agriculture Loan Waiver and Relief Scheme 2008 can also avail its benefit.

District level Assistant or Deputy Director Horticulture will be work agency under the scheme. They will have same powers to assign labour work and materials like CEOs of Janpad Panchayats. Payment of wages to labourers and supply of materials to suppliers will deposited directly in their bank accounts through electronic fund transfer. Deputy/Assistant Director in districts will selected beneficiaries through field staff and released technical sanction. Collector will give administrative sanction of work.