Tikrikilla(Meghalaya), Feb 12 : In its continued effort to reach out to the farming community in Meghalaya, Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Saturday reached out to farmers at Tikrikilla, where at least 288 Producers Groups had gathered to receive the cheques amounting to ₹1.86 Cr.
Distributing the cheques at a public programme, which saw participation of Producers Groups, Self Help Groups and Cooperative Societies, the Chief Minister reiterated the Government’s ambitious farmers collectivisation programme – FOCUS, that aims to revolutionize farming activities linked to income generations.
“As a Government, we realised that our farming communities in the State were left out, which called for launching various welfare initiatives for the farmers. Through our programmes, we are providing support, financial assistance and market linkage, so as to upscale farming activities,” he said.
In a prioritized manner Government has rolled out the FOCUS programme in the State and by March this year ₹17.28 cr will be disbursed to about 1650 Producers Groups and by the end of financial year 2022-23 another ₹130 cr will be disbursed to about 16,800 producers groups.
‘FOCUS’, which is dubbed as the largest farmers welfare programme in the history of Meghalaya, the State which has declared December 1 as “Farmers Day”, envisages to reach out to at least 4.5 lakh farmers with different welfare schemes.
He told the gathering that under FOCUS ₹200 cr has been earmarked for the current financial year, which is being disbursed to farmers across the State as financial support.
Apart from FOCUS, the State Government is supporting on a mission mode farmers through programmes like Dairy and Piggery Mission, wherein interest free loans are provided to Cooperative Societies as well as financial support to Self Help Groups from National Rural Livelihood Missions.
In the last three months, Community Investment Funds to the tune of ₹120 cr has been disbursed. In today’s programme at Tikrikilla, the Chief Minister distributed interest free bank loans worth ₹29 lakhs and Community Investment Funds of ₹21 lakhs to women led SHGs.
“Our commitment to spur women empowerment and their entrepreneurial dreams is testament to the burgeoning SHGs Movement in the State,” he added.
During his day-long programme in Tikrikilla, the Chief Minister also interacted with beneficiaries of PMAYG, MGNREGS, NSAP, farmers & SHGs at Tikrikilla.
“Understanding people’s issues at the grassroot and ensuring they are heard allows us to make better decisions to their advantage and MDA is committed to this end,” the Chief Minister added.
CM inaugurates Cold Storage Unit at Rengsinpara:
Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Saturday inaugurated the cold storage unit of the Rengsinpara Integrated Village Cooperative Society at Lower Rengsinpara under Tikrikilla block in West Garo Hills.
The project promoted under MEGH-LAMP, MBMA West Garo Hills, covers seven villages under cluster mode.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that the project will greatly help the farmers in storing and preserving agricultural produce for longer periods irrespective of weather and climatic conditions. He added that the Government will set up more cold storages in different parts of the state for the benefit of the farming community.
The cold storage constructed at a cost of 15 lakhs under funding from MEGH-LAMP and SELCO foundation runs completely on solar power and has a capacity of 5 MT.
The Chief Minister also took time to interact with the villagers of Rengsinpara and nearby villages.
He informed the gathering of the different programmes initiated by the Government for the welfare of our farmers. He exhorted the people to avail themselves of the various programmes and schemes designed to enhance the livelihood of rural farmers.
The Chief Minister also informed the gathering of the different initiatives for farmers that the Government is promoting through the Integrated Village Cooperative Societies.
It may be mentioned here that the Collective Marketing Center (CMC) is another initiative taken by the Rengsingpara IVCS Ltd. which is being installed at a cost of around 8 lakhs.
Both the Cold Storage and Collective Marketing Center is facilitated by MBMA (MeghaLAMP ), West Garo Hills.