Tura: Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday launched the ‘Chief Minister’s Mobilization Support for Producers’ program in Tura with a vision to
identify, train and form producer groups, service providers and collective marketing Centers across Meghalaya with the objective to improve production, productivity and market access.
The formation of the groups will enable the Government to achieve program objectives by ensuring the timely availability of adequate and quality inputs, access to credit, improve marketing infrastructure, extension services and better transportation.
Under the Meghalaya Livelihoods and Access to Markets Project (Megha-LAMP), 1,260 Producer Groups are being supported while under the PRIME initiative, 936 Producer Groups are being supported. In the coming months, Rs. 9.4 crore will be disbursed to the groups under Megha-LAMP and Rs. 6.1 crore will be disbursed to the groups under PRIME.
Each member of the Producer Groups get a mobilization fund of Rs. 5,000 and each service provides gets a mobilization fund of Rs 50,000, while each of the collective marketing centers get a zero interest loan of Rs 7,00,000.
In the launch event at Tura today, around Rs 3.5 crore was distributed to award 90 Producer Groups, 21 Service Providers, and 38 Collective Marketing Centers.
“Apart from the many development projects that are important for the State and the people, we were very clear that we want to make an improvement in every individual’s life. We want to take small steps to transform the lives of the people at the grassroots level. We realized that there are many gaps in the system – entrepreneurship, farmers, artists, sports, art, students, youth, etc; and there are small things we can do that can change the lives of our people in every sector,” he observed.
“We started looking into these gaps. We realized that entrepreneurship is a base and an area that will touch every aspect of life. We started by promoting and recognizing the entrepreneurs. I started my journey as an entrepreneur and I know the challenges the entrepreneurs face firsthand. We recognized entrepreneurs by starting the CM’s Entrepreneurship Recognition Award and we realized that they need guidance so we started giving them different kinds of training and even started the
PRIME Hubs,” the Chief Minister elaborated.
The Chief Minister also announced that the Meghalaya Government will spend Rs 200 crore over the next two years under the program to enable farmers and producer groups to level up and leverage their enterprises.
On the challenges faced by entrepreneurs of the State, Sangma said, “Meghalaya has a lot of faith and a lot of expectations from the entrepreneurs. Talking from experience, as an entrepreneur myself, who did not receive any support when I started my IT business, I can feel the challenge and discouragement that entrepreneurs get, especially because they do not have anyone to guide them. Through my education in Business Administration, I had access to market background and research but a lot of our people do not have this or even qualify for applying for a loan or any kind of funding from banks or agencies”.
“The PRIME Hub in Tura will act as an incubation centre, a meeting centre and a centre to create energy among the youth. We hope that the PRIME Hubs in different locations will address most of the issues our entrepreneurs face. Through this, we hope to create an ecosystem to give the push and support to the entrepreneurs who want to start their own business,” he said.