ROURKELA: Thanks to the joint venture project taken up by the National Institute of Technology – Rourkela (NIT-R) and Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) of SAIL, around 150 women farmers have so far been trained in various facets of organic farming. The venture was launched in November 2021 to promote sustainable organic farming and create livelihood for women farmers under an MoU signed in May 2021. The project was taken up at a cost of about Rs 45 lakh for a period of four years. The project also envisaged to maintain ecological balance and extend hands-on training to about 700 small women farmers. In the first phase, a dragon fruit cultivation unit was launched in September 2022 at the Institute of Periphery Development (IPD) of RSP in Sector-20.RSP sources said the cultivation unit is one of the early initiatives in Sundargarh district to promote the cash-rich horticulture crop and impart hands-on training to women farmers.