Dhenkanal in Odisha is a proof that agriculture can co-exist harmoniously with industrialisation


Adoption of farm-based livelihood activity is yielding encouraging results in the Dhenkanal district of Odisha, a proof that agriculture can co-exist harmoniously with industrialisation, GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited (GKEL) says.

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“Through its novel venture, GKEL has set an example of harmonious co-existence of both industry and agriculture. People in and around our project areas realise that industry is not a threat to the farm sector. Rather, it promotes farming and allied activity,” a company official said.

Following the initiative, over 100 acres have been cultivated and cash crops like groundnut and mustard raised along the Brahmani in Mangalpur, providing more than 500 farmers with extra income by reusing their fallow land, said officials of GKEL, an SPV of GMR Energy.

Farmers are mainly into paddy cultivation using the SRI (System of Rice Intensification) methodology, which yields handsome returns. They have also been supported to take up vegetable cultivation in the area, the official said.

“GKEL provides input support and training for growing SRI rice, fish farming, goat farming and poultry in the backyard. More than 1,000 families have benefited from the multiple livelihood support,” said R Ravindranathan Nair, Director and Chief Operating Officer, GKEL.

GKEL, which operates a 1,050-mw thermal power plant at Kamalanga, aims to “keep people in the surrounding happy”. Highlighting GKEL’s CSR contribution, Nair said it has launched new initiatives towards sustainable livelihood of women with an emphasis on overall development and their empowerment and making them economically self-dependent.

“By promoting women at the grassroots level, GKEL aims at inculcating a sense of entrepreneurship and self-dependency among them in the region,” said Nair. GKEL has also distributed health insurance policies to 2,500 members of the local community, he added.