Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday said that the government will continue to provide market access and financial assistance to farmers in the State.
Launching the Farmer’s Collectivization for Upscaling Production and Marketing Systems (FOCUS) for Samanda block in East Garo Hills district, the Chief Minister said that farmers in the State, who comprise about 70 per cent of the population will receive added benefits through the FOCUS programme to supplement the various welfare schemes of the Government that are in line with the State’s vision for the agriculture sector.
FOCUS programme is a flagship initiative of the State Govt to provide market access and financial assistance to farmers collective.
Sangma said that through FOCUS programme, the government envisages to upscale farming activities in the State by providing them better market access. He said the programme supports farmers collective as “Producers Group”, as financial aid is provided to them.
“There are several problems for an individual farmers. So we are encouraging like-minded farmers to come together as a group and avail the benefits of the scheme,” the Chief Minister said, while urging farmers to form Producers Group to avail the benefit.
Sangma informed that Rs. 5000 for an individual will be provided to each farmers under the programme, however, they have to register as producers group. He said the assistance provided to producers group is not a loan but assistance, so that the farmers can upscale their farming and income generating activities.
The Chief Minister also informed that Rs. 200 Crore has been earmarked for the programme, which will be spent over the next few years. Stating that PRIME Hub, an incubation and mentoring centre, which is coming up across the State will provide technical know-how and training for value addition, processing and packaging, the Chief Minister urged farmers groups and entrepreneurs to avail loan from different
programmes of the Government to set up processing units.
Sangma also said that the Government has an ambitious entrepreneurship promotion programmes and will provide necessary support to potential entrepreneurs of the State.
He further said that farmers welfare and entrepreneurs was a thrust area for (L) P.A Sangma and the Government is working to fructify his dream through FOCUS programme. During the programme, he also handed over cheques to 35 producers groups from East
Garo Hills district.