ITANAGAR, 10 Mar: Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Agriculture Minister Tage Taki on Thursday virtually gave away 44 tractors and 22 power tillers to beneficiary farmers of Lower Dibang Valley district as part of the inaugural ceremony of an ‘expo-cum-kisan mela’ underway in Roing.
The state government had in September last year launched two ambitious schemes – one in the agriculture sector, called Atmanirbhar Krishi Yojana, and the other for horticulture, named Atmanirbhar Bagwani Yojana. The distribution of the machineries was part of the Atmanirbhar Krishi Yojana as well as the Centre’s Sub-Mission on Agriculture Mechanisation.
The scheme is based on front-end subsidies, and beneficiaries are being provided credit links by the State Bank of India, the Arunachal Pradesh Rural Bank and the Arunachal Pradesh Cooperative Apex Bank, comprising 45 percent government subsidy, 45 percent bank loan and 10 percent investment by the beneficiary.
Congratulating the beneficiaries, Khandu expressed hope that the farming sector of the state, which has been witnessing a very slow growth, would receive a boost, and that the rural economy based on agriculture would see a steep growth.
“The state government is committed to hand-hold the farming sector, and I assure my farmer friends that sufficient fund allocation would be kept in this year’s budget too to continue with the schemes,” Khandu informed.
He thanked the banks, especially the SBI, for cooperating with the state government in providing credit links to beneficiaries seamlessly in a very short period of time.
“Credit must be given to our partner banks for releasing a total of Rs 91 crores to the beneficiaries till date from the targeted 120 crores. I hope that the same zeal and zest will be continued,” he said.
The CM pointed that, this being the first year of implementation of the scheme, there might have been a few shortcomings, and assured that the department will work on these and “ease them out” by next year.
“The state government is developing an ICT enabled online scheme application system which will enable our prospective farmers to apply for these schemes online from the comfort of their house. I request all farmers to take this opportunity being provided and avail all our schemes online from coming financial year. We are also setting up a call centre to assist the beneficiaries with any queries or issues regarding the schemes,” he informed.
In expectation of a steep rise in ‘farm products’ hereafter, Khandu said that the state government is evolving a system to ensure MSP and market link for the farmers.
“We have a huge presence of army and paramilitary forces in our state. We are in advanced stages of talks to sell our farm produce to them and ensure a minimum selling price and market links for our farmers,” he said.
Taki informed that the state government will be setting up organic fertiliser plants in Ziro and Namsai. “Soon the state government will supply organic fertilisers to farmers from these plants and the farmers will not have to take the trouble of searching for the right fertiliser and at the right price elsewhere,” he said. (CM’s PR Cell)
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