Odisha government launches new scheme to enhance farmers’ income in tribal regions

BHUBANESWAR: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday launched a new programme that aims to benefit around one lakh farmers across 40 blocks in 12 tribal districts by facilitating them to practice market-linked production of crops especially horticulture crops.

The project will trigger growth in farm sector with an objective of doubling the income of one lakh small and marginal farmers by establishing agriculture production clusters. Around Rs 401 crore will be spent under the scheme in three years, said an official source.

“Agriculture is one of the major component of our economy. I have always emphasized on growth of income of our farming communities. The initiative will help to increase income of farmers in our tribal regions. Also, the initiative will help to ensure control of farmers on the market,” said the chief minister after launching the scheme.

The state agriculture and panchayati raj departments will jointly take up the programme along with government of India agency Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation (BRLF) and non-governmental agency PRADAN. A memorandum of understanding was also signed on the occasion between the state government and BRLF and PRADAN.

According to the scheme, around 150 farmers will be organized into one producer group, who would be assisted to practice horticulture crops covering around 40 acres. By covering around 20 to 25 producer groups comprising around 3,000 to 5,000 farmers, there will be one agriculture production clusters (APC). Priority will be given to cover women farmers under the scheme

“Our target is to promote at least 30 APCs involving around 650 producer groups thereby covering over one lakh farmers in 40 tribal-dominated blocks. Around 750 market-linked agri-entrepreneurs will also be groomed with an aim to ensure value addition to the farm products,” said agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy.

To make it a sustainable initiative, the state government targets to introduce non-pesticidal management practice in at least 40 per cent of the total covered areas under the scheme.

Under the initiative, the state government also targets to create livelihood assets like irrigation in 16,000 acres, orchard development in 8,000 acres, farm mechanization access to around 70,000 farmers and shed for goat and backyard poultry for 30,000 farmers.

Source:The Times of India