Achala, situated in Odisha's Nabarangpur district, was once counted among India's poorest villages. With positive interventions, however, things are now changing. Today, the village is being propelled into prosperity, thanks to its rising number of cashew growers.
Until a few years ago, villagers here grew only rice and corn. During January-February, once the harvesting season was over, members from over 100 families would migrate to cities each year. Visiting the cities of Hyderabad and Chennai, farmers from Achala would work as labourers in cities.
Cashew sells at Rs 100 per kilo in the market, which has helped increase the income of villagers. A resident had planted 40 cashew saplings five years ago, and is reaping fruits in just two to three years. Requiring little water for management, cashew plantations are spread over 21 hectares of the village's land, with 100 out 250 families growing cashews at present, reports Dainik Bhaskar.
Besides work opportunities in the fields, cashew processing factories in the region has also created more jobs in Nabarangpur. The village of Achala, however, continues to lack access to education and good healthcare facilities.
The school here educates children from class I to VIII, and is run by only four teachers. The panchayat consisting 15 villages has just one primary healthcare worker. Literacy levels and health parameters remain low. However, with newfound prosperity in the village, the villagers hope that their lives will improve in the days to come.
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