- Prathmesh Rai
Chhattisgarh (Bhupesh Baghel) Government Scheme for Farmer
“Narwa, Garwa, Ghurwa au Badi”
The Chhattisgarh government under the competent and proficient hands of Shri. Bhupesh Baghel, the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh has taken certain steps for the betterment of the farmers in Chhattisgarh. The state is excessively dependent on its natural resources and its agrarian sector and thus, government has come up with an innovative vision to revive the agricultural economy by striking a “golden mean between modernity and tradition at the grassroots.” This scheme is ‘Narwa, Garwa, Ghurwa au Badi’ which has been aimed at reviving villages by addressing issues pertaining to livestock and farming through an all-encompassing bio-conservation program which aims to provide a platform for rural areas to better utilize their natural resources in a shrewd manner. This project should enable a good harvest in an eco-friendly environment. The scheme is an ambitious attempt to rejuvenate the farmers and increase their agricultural output. The government is also trying to reinvigorate its lost pristine environment, in particular, its water bodies that have dried up or have become polluted due to excess usage. Similarly, another problem which the Chhattisgarh government is trying to solve using this scheme is of sheltering and assembling abandoned livestock, as in their struggle for existence, the livestock feed on standing crops and occupy roads for space which have inversely accounted for severe accidents on highways and roads near villages. The effort of the Chhattisgarh government is commendable, however, its success rests on how the people take it and whether they are able to implement the ideas of the government. Therefore, it is very important to have comprehensive coordination and communication between the state government and the people who are/will be a part of this scheme. If there is a shortcoming in the passing of information, this well-initiated project might also become a social and economical disaster, hence coordination is key to its success and completion.
The ‘Narwa’ aspect of the scheme is based on the idea of canals and streams. The state of Chhattisgarh is peppered with such canals and streams and this project focuses on low-cost water conservation structures such as check dams, gully controls, underground dikes at strategic locations on water streams in order to ensure “the harvest of water and recharge of the subsoil as well as groundwater”. National watershed mission and MGNREGA will jointly be executing this program. The direct result of this scheme will be an increase in arable area with a doubled crop production. As around 69 percent of irrigation in Chhattisgarh is dependent on groundwater, the absence of surface water conservation can lead to the fast depletion of precious resources. Hence, Narwa, is a scientific initiative. Water scarcity is not just a problem for Chhattisgarh but is inflicting tremendous anxiety around the world and this step is certainly taken towards a righteous cause as water conservation is an important factor in turning the tide against issues such as global warming. At the same time, this project is not only going to benefit mankind, but is also going to revive the flora and fauna of Chhattisgarh, a state whose land is 44% covered with forests.
‘Garwa’ stands for cattle, this section of the scheme not only aims for the amelioration of the domestic livestock but, the project also includes the development of several other facilities such as cattle shed, water tank, fodder farm, silo and pits for cow dung. The government has emphasized on the making of Gothans in rural areas; a ‘Gothan’ is a place where villagers gather all the cattle in order to provide them with food and healthcare facilities. Although villagers have cattle, many are unable to take adequate care of their domestic livestock and that hinders their income as it depends on the livestock because of which they remain chained in the poverty cycle. However, with the help of the gothan development program, the poor will be able to take good care of their cattle. These gothans are very well facilitated and will prove beneficial for the villagers as they will provide shelter for the livestock, along with food and fresh-water, which will help in water conservation and less wastage of freshwater. The gothan will also have breeding and vaccination programs and will be administered by the gram sabha.
All these facilities will be of tremendous help for the deprived as, previously they were unable to afford such privileges, now at least they will have some support to run their domestic livelihood.
Manure is an essential supplement in the farmlands and in Chhattisgarh, it plays an even more crucial role because the soil quality in Chhattisgarh is not very fertile and is red in color, hence the addition of manure helps in the growth and yielding of crops. The ‘Ghurwa’ phase of the government scheme aims at biological manure production. The Chhattisgarh government is focusing on the production of two types of manure- first one being “FYM”, which is prepared from cow dung and the second one is vermicompost, which is produced by the use of earthworm, scientifically known as “Eisenia fetida”. FYM is prepared in the Gothan and in the farmer’s home yard. Vermibeds are provided for free to farmers by the governmental departments for the production of vermicompost. These two organic ways of producing manure are extremely useful as they are harmless to the environment and the crop itself, as it is chemical-free and lastly, it is not expensive and can be afforded by anyone. The fact that the manure is cheap is very important because around 70% of the farmers in Chattisgarh do not have large-scale farmlands, and cannot afford the costs of working on the land being high. Therefore, the ghurwa project addresses such issues. This concept is very unique and encouraging as the use of bio-fertilizers will eventually restore soil fertility, which might have been lost due to excess chemical usage and the red soil itself.
Around 70% of farmers in Chhattisgarh have only own around 2 hectares of farmland, these types of small-scale farms are locally known as ‘Badi’. Such badis or gardens come under the Badi Vikas Kaaryakram (Yard Development Program). The purpose of this scheme is to develop a proper kitchen garden in a farmer’s home. The government has taken the initiative of providing the farmers with seeds of different vegetable crops so that they can produce vegetables such as potato, cauliflower, radish, okra, and cabbage in these small kitchen-gardens. Likewise, fruit seeds and saplings are also being distributed to farmers in gothan villages throughout Chhattisgarh. This plan is being conducted under the watchful eyes of the Department of Horticulture. The Chhattisgarh government has also taken into consideration the fact that the growth rate of the value of foodgrains has plummeted by 1.83% between 2011 and 2014 in the country, whereas that of fruits and vegetables has accelerated by 5.37%. An increase in fruit and vegetable cultivation can reduce the risk of food shortages and can also guarantee that all products will be bought and sold in the market, as fruits and vegetables seem to be a desirable good for consumers over staple grains. Thus, even small-scale farmers can earn enough to satisfy their personal needs.
The initiative taken by the Chhattisgarh government, under the watchful guidance and wisdom of Chief Minister Shri. Bhupesh Baghel is surely an idea that is going to inspire millions across the country and is also being appreciated by the Central government. The “Narwa, Garwa, Ghurwa, au Badi” program prioritizes the welfare and well-being of agriculture and farmers in the state. This scheme is not only applicable to a single state, but can also be implemented in various other states that are heavily reliant on their agricultural and primary sector throughout India. The top authorities in the country have joined hands as this project is not being headed by a single person but is being handled by various government departments in collaboration with the Chhattisgarh government. Fortunately, this mission has become popular among rural folks and its groundworks have started to commence, however, its future has a long way to go. The success of this project will help rebuild and redefine Indian agriculture in the future. However, it’s in its early stages and from early on, one requires to understand that its favorable outcome heavily relies on how the people understand it on the ground and whether they are able to implement the ideas.
Therefore, it is very important for the government to be clear and focused towards its task and create awareness amongst the people. The authorities will require utmost coordination and easy accessibility of information in order to pass the information down to the panchayats and gram sabha without any restraint. If these measures are taken care of, then this scheme can revolutionize the agricultural sector in India and at the same time, allow the poor and vulnerable to meet their day to day needs in a sustainable manner.
Barwa, Deepak. “What Is ‘Narwa-Garwa-Ghurwa-Au-Badi (NGGB) and Its Schemes Launched By The Government of Chhattisgarh?” SHASYADHARA AGRICULTURE, 26 Dec. 2019, www.shasyadhara.com/what-is-narwa-garwa-ghurwa-au-bari-nggb-and-its-schemes-launched-by-the-government-of-chhattisgarh/