The CSR team at Tata Steel Long Products Limited (TSLPL) has undertaken a number of initiatives in their operating locations in the areas of education, healthcare, sustainable livelihood opportunities, community empowerment through agricultural development, market linkages and youth skill development with the goal of providing farmers with sustainable means of subsistence.
Considering the nature of Saranda forest area, TSLPL has integrated its pilot project mushroom cultivation with self-help groups (SHGs) and individuals residing near Vijay II iron ore mine to improve the quality of life of the local people.
Under this project, the CSR team selected deprived SHGs and individuals, wherein 5 SHGs and 5 individuals underwent various training programmes in December 2021, which were organised at Nuia and Baraiburu village of Noamundi. Moreover, basic infrastructure of 500 sq.ft. area mushroom cultivation shed to the SHGs and 300 sq. ft. area for individuals with all the necessary tools and equipment has been provided.
500 kg of oyster and milky mushrooms having a market demand of Rs. 200/-per kg were produced in the first season, utilising the techniques and ongoing support,. Participation in the subsistence activities has enhanced the farmers' revenue.
In many SHGs and Individuals, Mahila Baa SHG from Baraiburu have earned a good amount of money. There are 15 members in the group who successfully completed the training and produced good quality milky mushrooms. Other than the existing agriculture, Laxmi Devi and Kamla Devi from Braiburu also took an initiative to produce mushrooms and earn more.
The output has been higher than other locations because of the favourable and good weather conditions. The nutritional content of these mushrooms is likewise quite high and the quality is considerably greater than other mushrooms (wild mushrooms). As a result, plenty of farmers and self-help groups have expressed their interest in joining the initiative for mushroom cultivation as a sustainable source of income.
It may be noted here that, TSLPL consistently organises training for rural youth to help them have a brighter future and a sustainable livelihood.