Shillong: Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik on Friday said that the State agriculture department continues to lay strong emphasis on food safety, nutrition and livelihood security and that more than 85,000 farmers are expected to benefit from the Kisan Credit Card Crop Loan with interest subvention of two per cent.
“Further, 2.16 lakh soil health cards were distributed to farmers in the state. Under the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture to make agriculture more productive, sustainable and climate resilient, the demonstration for 1.060 villages is under progress,” he said in the course of his address in the State assembly on the first day of the budget session on Friday .
“The State government has launched the Meghalaya Piggery Mission, which is India’s biggest piggery development project. Under the Mission, interest free loans are being given for fattening and pig breeding, which will increase the income of 25,000 households and aims to make the state self-sufficient in pork production,” he said.
“Due to the prompt and swift action by the state government, the spread of African Swine Fever was effectively contained and only few deaths of pigs were reported in the state,” the governor said, adding that the state government also took all necessary measures to prevent the spread of bird flu in the state.
“Additionally, the central government has also given in-principle approval for establishing the biggest cattle feed manufacturing unit in Meghalaya,” the governor informed.
The Union Ministry for the Development of the North East has released Rs 400.86 crore for undertaking various projects, he informed that added that under the North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme, the ministry has sanctioned eight projects at a total cost of Rs 186.44 crore.
“Sanctions have been obtained from the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs for setting up 40 Ekalavya Model Residential Schools in all the blocks of the State, the government said. An amount of Rs 57.66 crore has been approved under Article 275(I) of the Constitution of India and Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Scheme for the same,” he said.
Under the Megha-Lamp project, 1,325 out of the targeted 1,350 project villages have been
supported to develop and implement their own integrated natural resources plans. Till date, the project villages have been supported with over 1,100 water related interventions and around 320 land resource development interventions, the governor said. To enhance access to financial services in areas where formal banking sector is yet to reach, 300 community-promoted integrated village cooperative societies have been registered. These societies cover over 65,000 households in the state. Additionally, a total of 205 Km of roads have been constructed across the state for improving access to markets,” Malik said.
Furthermore, the Governor said that another important milestone was the notification of the reservation policy for women members to the Village Employment Council to hold executive positions at the level of chairperson and secretary.
“This will encourage leadership skills and create an environment for active participation in decision making by women at the grassroots level,” he observed.
He also informed that a total of 4,521 Self Help Groups were formed in the state under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission. “The objective is to reduce poverty by enabling the poor households to access gainful, self and skilled employment through the constitution of strong institutions by mobilising the vulnerable groups of rural society, particularly women,” he said.
Meghalaya is among the top three states in the country in terms of implementation of MGNREGS, the governor said. “The State government will continue to provide support to the autonomous district councils for the administration and governance of Sixth Schedule Areas, he added. Grants-in-aid will continue to be facilitated by the State Government for promoting the welfare of the indigenous citizens within the overall framework of sustainable development,” he emphasised.