In 2008, Mukti and other, a socio-economic development organization, started the plantation of coconut trees along with other NGO’s, through coconut nurseries in different parts of South 24 Paraganas under the Central Government Scheme MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme), through which government is able to create more jobs for rural job card holders. BOCI (British Oxygen Company India) is also associated with Mukti to strengthen this effort towards reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in order to mitigate global warming.
This project, named NaRKEL (Natural Revolution with Koconut for Ecology and Livelihood) after the Bengali word for coconut, aims to increase local employment opportunities by developing industries based on the coconut and its by-products. At the same time, the project is building up momentum for a campaign towards the widespread utilization of coconut plants, which are valuable in terms of food, environment, and protection against floods by resisting erosion of embankments. The implementation of this scheme has improved the quality of life of thousands of poor people and has created an alternative source of income for them. These plants have converted large barren lands into tracts of greenery. After the success of the last 3 years, Mukti is now optimistic about increasing coconut production in West Bengal, particularly in North and South 24 Parganas and in the coastal regions of Sundarban.
The nursery in Mathurapur Block-II at Purbasridharpur, Nagendrapur G.P. has been a very successful effort, and continues operations this year. The designated tasks for the year at this nursery, and at five other Grams Panchayets under the Mathurapur block II have already been completed successfully. Maintenance and supervision work has been continuing and will be carrying on until the end of March 2012.
Mukti also promotes other plantations such as Mahogany plants for reducing global warming and degradation of the environment.
We are also associated with Sibrampur GP under the Namkhana block for promoting coconut nurseries. Here, we have provided help to the Block administration and Panchayet to prepare a project and budget since inception of the said project. The Sibrampur GP administration has given one bigha land for germination of 10000 seeds. Mukti has provided training to 10-15 farmer activists regarding development of coconut nurseries. The first phase of planting of 6,000 coconut seeds has been completed within the month of July and the second phase of planting of 4,000 seeds has been completed in mid September. It has been found that the first phase of germination is progressing well. Within few days Mukti will be visiting to monitor the progress of the second phase of germination.
This year we have also received funds from the Sundarban Development Board for the coconut nursery planting program, work for which is going on at present. We are expecting that by this year, Mukti could be able to expand this unique project to other gram panchayets and Blocks. Gosaba & Basanti blocks are in the process of implementation of the coconut planting program under respective Gram Panchayets. We are successful in large-scale promotion of the coconut project and are extremely hopeful that these initiatives will encourage further growing of coconut & other plants in the Sundarban delta areas.