New plantation programme to start in Jharkhand: Ramesh

PantationOne lakh hectare would be used to produce tasar, natural rubber, lac and cashew nuts in the current fiscal, said Jairam Ramesh.

In a long-term plan to bring 15 lakh hectares land under plantations in Jharkhand, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday said one lakh hectare would be used to produce tasar, natural rubber, lac and cashew nuts in the current fiscal.

Also, women self-help groups would be drafted inn to raise the livelihood of their families.

"As per an estimate, four-lakh hectare land is considered as degraded forest and 11-lakh hectare as barren land. Under the new programme one lakh hectare land will be used for plantation in 2013 14, two lakh hectare in 2014-15 and four lakh in the next fiscal and so on, and it is a long (drawn) process," Ramesh said.

Claiming, the Central Silk Board has focused only mulberry silk, Ramesh said, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Chhatisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand have potential for tasar silk.

Expressing concern over the low amount of bank loans given to self help groups (SHG) in Jharkhand, Ramesh said he had talked to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram suggesting setting up a financial institution exclusively lending loans to SHGs on the concept of NABARD to facilitate loans for them.

He was speaking at a work shop organized by Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society under the aegis of Union Rural Development Department and Union Textile Minister K Sambasiva Rao, Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Jharkhand Rural Development Minister Chandrasekhar Dubey, Chief Secretary R S Sharma and other officials were present.

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