Shillong (Meghalaya), Feb 11: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Friday said that NPP led MDA Govt launched the innovative inclusive farmers’ welfare programme – FOCUS that will benefit over 4.5 lakh farmers in the State.
He said that the programme was conceptualized by the State Govt taking into consideration the economic hardship that the farming community had to face due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said that through this programme the farmers are grouped together as farmers collective – “Producers Groups” and financial assistance of ₹ 5000 each to each member in the group is provided.
He said that the funds can be used as seed money for upscaling farming activities.
An estimated ₹ 200 cr has been earmarked for this inclusive farmers programme. In the last three months, the Chief Minister has visited several districts and blocks in the State.
In the FOCUS program at Chokpot today, the Chief Minister distributed cheques amounting to Rs.1.2 Cr to 170 Producer Groups to upscale their farming & entrepreneurial activities.
The Chief Minister also attended the SHG Mela at the same venue and extended financial assistance worth Rs. 1.001 Cr to 29 Village Organisations and SHGs. He stated that the MDA Government is happy to support the women-led SHG movement that is empowering enterprising women at the grassroot level.
He further said that the Govt has introduced various funding options to encourage entrepreneurial activities, wherein interest-free loans are being provided to the people.
He urged the public to take advantage of the welfare initiatives launched by the Govt and motivated people to form Self Help Groups and Cooperative Societies to avail the benefits of the schemes.
He said that Govt’s welfare programmes are targeted for overall improvement in farming activities, farmers sustainable income, marketing linkages and ensures that Agri and Horti products of the State are promoted and marketed for optimum benefits.
He also announced that ₹100 cr plus has been sanctioned for various infrastructure development projects in Chokpot area of South Garo Hills, including Chokpot Water Supply, Guest House, new Civil Sub Division building and a road from 12 mile to Chokpot.
Clean Cookstoves under the CSR initiative of the Global Himalayan Expedition were also distributed to beneficiaries at the program.