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Wide disparities in setting up Agro Service Centres: CAG

Published: 17th September 2012 01:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th September 2012 01:08 PM   |  A+A-

The State Government’s aim to provide services on farmers’ doorstep failed because of disparities in the establishment of agro service centres (ASCs).

 The State Agriculture Policy of 2008 envisaged setting up of ASCs to provide services on farmers’ doorstep for farm mechanisation on hire basis. During 2006 to 2011, 550 ASCs were established and agricultural implements, involving a subsidy of Rs  9.99 crore, was provided to these centres by the Agriculture Department.

 Norm of at least one centre for each agriculture district was fixed. But CAG said in its latest report that there were wide disparities in setting up such centres. A large number of such centres was established in coastal districts.

 As many as 102 centres were set up in Ganjam while 84 and 75 centres were established in Cuttack and Jagatsinghpur districts respectively. However, two centres each were set up in backward districts of Mayurbhanj and Gajapati while six centres were set up in Nabarangpur district.

 According to CAG, in Koraput, Sundargarh and Rayagada, nine, three and seven centres were opened respectively. Surprisingly, no such centre was opened in seven agriculture districts of Phulbani and Malkangiri revenue districts.

 The State Government explained that no proposal was received from these districts for establishment of ASCs. As a result farmers of these backward districts were deprived of proper guidance and benefits. In the 15 test-checked agriculture districts by CAG, only 163 centres were opened against a target of 468.

 The CAG maintained that no ASC was opened in Phulbani and Malkangiri districts despite instructions from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at a strategy meeting on October 28, 2009. Phulbani and Malkangiri are among the poorest of the districts with 16 and 21 per cent of population respectively depending on agriculture as mainstay of their livelihood.



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