BHUBANESWAR: The State Government dropped the idea of Agri Clinics as the project could not take off after six years due to improper planning and lack of support from identified primary societies, The Government had sanctioned ` three crore in 2014-15 for the establishment of Agri Clinics in 40 identified Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) and Large Area Multi-purpose Cooperative Societies (LAMPS) to provide expert advice and services to farmers.
The funds sanctioned to the Cooperation department remained idle in the Odisha State Cooperative Bank (OSCB) for three years. In 2018, the department decided to transfer the fund to the Agricultural Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited (APICOL) for the implementation of the project.
After a series of reviews and consultations with stakeholders, the department advised APICOL to utilize the services of Krishi Vigyan Kendra in the execution of the project. A meeting chaired by Cooperation Secretary last year decided that the list of services to be provided by PACS/LAMPS will be suggested by APICOL basing on the requirements of the primary societies.
Each Agri Clinic is estimated to cost Rs 10 lakh out of which the Government contribution was Rs 7.5 lakh while the remaining Rs 2.5 lakh was to be shared by the PACS/LAMPS concerned. Expressing its inability to execute the project, APICOL returned the money to the Cooperation department on July 31, 2020.
The objective of Agri Clinics is to provide expert advice and services to farmers on various technologies including soil health, cropping practices, plant protection, crop insurance, post-harvest technology and clinical services for animals, feed and fodder management, prices of various crops in the market which would enhance productivity of crops/animals and ensure increased income to farmers. The department has also surrendered `6.21 crore unspent balance out of ` nine crore sanctioned by the Government for establishment of 100 Agro Service Centres in selected PACS and LAMPS.