Odisha government signs pact to promote agriculture enterprises in 12 tribal districts

“The scheme will operate in 40 tribal blocks of 12 districts on a pilot basis to promote entrepreneurial ventures at the grassroots level.
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik (File Photo | EPS)
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik (File Photo | EPS)

BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to promote agricultural enterprises in tribal areas and provide services to farmers through common service centres, the State Government signed two agreements with an NGO of national repute and a Central Government agency.

The Agricultural Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited (APICOL) and Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN), a national-level NGO, signed an agreement for implementation of agriculture entrepreneurship promotion scheme (AEPS) in tribal selected blocks of the State.

“The scheme will operate in 40 tribal blocks of 12 districts on a pilot basis to promote entrepreneurial ventures at the grassroots level. Farmers’ producer organisation (FPOs), farmers interest groups (FIGs) and small and marginal farmers will be assisted by an agricultural entrepreneur for increasing farmers’ income through enhanced production and productivity measures,” said Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo.

Around 1000 agri-entrepreneurs will be selected, imparted training and establish an agri based enterprise. Each agri-entrepreneur (AE) will cater to 200 local farmers in a cluster of 4-5 villages and act as one stop solution provider in the locality. This will benefit around two lakh small and marginal farmers to augment their income in three years, he added.
The AEs will also provide services for livestock rearing and fisheries wherever possible to augment farmers livelihood.

The second MoU was signed with CSC e-Governance Services India Limited (CSC-SPV), a Central Government entity, for implementation of Mukhyamantri Krushi Udyog Yojana (MKUY) which was launched on June 1, 2018.

Assistance to farmers/agri-entrepreneurs through Common Service Centres (CSCs) in the filling up of online registration including uploading and viewing of documents in the web portal www.apicol.nic.in will be available at a cost of `32 per registration. The Central agency will develop a mobile app/dashboard for monitoring the activities of CSC.

“We have observed that the farmers of our rural belt are ignorant of how to apply for their agri-enterprises. Over 16,000 CSCs across the State will help those farmers in the online process for registration and also impart training at the block level,” the APICOL MD Pravaditya Mishra said.

The APICOL MD signed the first MoU with PRADAN Executive Director N Damodaran on AEPS and the second one with CSC-SPV state coordinator Swanoprabha Singh.

In 2018, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had launched a special programme on promotion of Agriculture Production Clusters (APCs) with an objective of doubling the income of one lakh small and marginal farmers.

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The New Indian Express