Shillong, Sep 1: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday launched the Farmerâ€™s Collectivization for Upscaling Production and Marketing Systems (FOCUS) for Samanda block in East Garo Hills in presence of Govt Chief Whip Marcuise Marak.
Launching the FOCUS programme, a flagship initiative of the State Govt to provide market access and financial assistance to farmers collective, Chief Minister said that farmers in the State, who comprise about 70 percent 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.
Sangma said that through FOCUS programme, the government envisages to upscale farming activities in the State by providing them better market access.
He said that the programme supports farmers collective as â€œProducers Groupâ€, as financial aid is provided to them.
â€œThere 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 schemeâ€, the Chief Minister said said, while urging farmers to form Producers Group to avail the benefit.
He also informed that Rs. 5000 for an individual will be provided to each farmers under the programme, however, they have to register as a producers group.
Sangma said that the assistance provided to producers group is not a loan but assistance, so that the farmers can Upscaling their farming and income generating activities.
The Chief Minister also told that Rs. 200 crore has been earmarked for the programme, which will be spent over the next few years.
He also mentioned 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.
Sangma also urged farmers groups and entrepreneurs to avail loan from different programmes of the Govt to set up processing units.
He also said that the Govt has an ambitious entrepreneurship promotion programmes and will provide necessary support to potential entrepreneurs of the State.
The Chief Minister 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.