MGNREGS generating environmental and social benefits

New Delhi, May 1 (IANS) The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is generating multiple environmental and socio-economic benefits, a national workshop in which several institutions participated, has concluded.

The synthesis report on “Environmental benefits and vulnerability reduction through Mahatma Gandhi NREGS” was launched by Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Wednesday.

MGNREGS is leading to improved water availability and soil fertility, resulting in increased crop production, the workshop participants found.

The workshop concluded that increased area under plantations and orchards potentially contribute to alternate incomes, increased employment generation and reduced migration. Further, the implementation of MGNREGS works has contributed to reducing vulnerability to climate risks.

The report is the study of environmental benefits accrued under MGNREGS in 10 villages each in the districts of Medak (Andhra Pradesh), Chitradurga (Karnataka), Dhar (Madhya Pradesh) and Bhilwara (Rajasthan), involving 2,057 direct beneficiary households impacted by MGNREGS assets.

Also, a case study of five villages in South District (Sikkim) with the same objectives was separately reported.

The synthesis report was prepared by Indian Institute of Science (IISc, Bangalore) in collaboration with Ministry of Rural Development and German Development Cooperation and is based on the five state studies conducted by different institutions.

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