Sikkim : Jane Namchu
State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD), Karfecter, South Sikkim has undertaken a special project of floriculture under Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojna taking into account the cluster approach. This means that instead of funding diverse activities each block will concentrate on select activities, to help the poor families sustain the particular activity for a longer period of time. SIRD has taken up floriculture to assist various Self Help Groups and families to earn a sustained income. With over 4,000 species of plants and shrubs, around 7,000 varieties of rare orchids and rhododendrons and mountain flowers of myriad hues and sizes, Sikkim is not just a paradise for nature lovers, but also a very important centre for floriculture. Some farmers are already exporting flowers abroad and are also supplying them in the domestic market.
Making full use of this natural advantage. SIRD has undertaken Rs 695.44 lakhs project from 2006-07 till 2010-11. The aim of the project is to enable 2000 Below Poverty Line families to cross over the poverty line within a period of two-three years. This will include women, SC/ST and also the physically challenged. Two hundred new Self Help Groups have been targeted under the project till 2010-11. The project will also assist APL families and educated unemployed youth through schemes of National Horticulture Board or even State Programmes to become an example for BPL families. The special project sanctioned by the Centre will be for a period of five years. The project will mostly concentrate in South and West districts and some selected villages of North and East districts.
The villages selected in South are Sadam, Sumbuk, Turuk, Namchi, Singhithang, Boomtar, Kamran. Perbing, Namthang, Maniram, Salghari, Tenik, Chisopani and Wok.In the West District the villages are Tashiding , Yoksom, Hee, Budang, Sombarey, Soreng, Zoom, Sigeng, Mabong, Suldung and Kamling. In East district, the villages are Rhenock, Pakyong, Pendam, Duga and Assam Lingzey and in the North district, Phodong, Phensang and Kabi.
One of the thrust areas of the project is to take up Gladiolus farming which has been found ideal for the region. However, instead of depending on only single species, farmers will also be encouraged to take up other species like Cymbidium, Lillium, Glorisa, Amaryllis, Callia Haemanthus.Training for the farmers and Self Help Groups is being held at SIRD, Regional Centre and Floriculture Centre of the Horticulture Departments.Experience of Self Help Groups who has undertaken various programmes under SGSY and other schemes of the Central Government has shown that marketing and infrastructure are crucial areas.
SIRD, to make the project viable, has already received the sanction for an AC refrigerated transport van at the cost of Rs 12 lakh for the transport of cut flowers to Siliguri, New Jalpaiguri and Bagdogra airport in West Bengal. A cold storage facility at the cost of Rs 15 lakh will be built to enable farmers to store the bulbs and also facilitate the stocking of cut flowers during road blockade in the monsoon season. A collection-cum-grading centre at the cost of Rs 10 lakh is to be established near Melli in South district. This will be headquarter of the flower growers cooperative society and will be developed into a ‘mandi’.
The State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD), Karfectar has been functioning as an autonomous organization supported by Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India since February 1992. The mission of SIRD is to facilitate rural development through governmental and non-governmental initiatives. Besides providing training in rural technology and capacity building for panchayats and other representatives at the grassroot level SIRD hopes to empower people and generate employment among the local youth.