Itanagar : “Agriculture is the backbone of our society,” asserted Chief Minister Pema Khandu while assuring proactive role and support to farmers in successful implementation of all centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) in Arunachal Pradesh.
Taking stock of all central schemes under implementation in the state with departments of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary and Fisheries here this morning, Khandu assured financial support to the schemes that require state share.
He said as implementation of agri and allied sector schemes are time bound and seasonal, delay in release of state share of funds should be avoided.
When informed by departmental officials of state share still to be released for utilization of central shares, Khandu asked the Chief Secretary to convene a meeting of the concerned departments with the Finance and Planning department officials so that all pending cases of state share be resolved at one go.
“We cannot wait for lengthy procedures to release the state shares for centrally sponsored schemes under agri-horti and allied sectors. It shouldn’t happen that by the time state shares are released and schemes are ready to be implemented, the season for the same is over,” he remarked.
The newly passed farm bills – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill – and its impact on Arunachal Pradesh were also discussed at length.
Khandu confirmed that the new bills, which have now become Acts, will help farmers augment their income in contradiction to opposition theories.
According to the Secretary Agriculture and Horticulture, Arunachal Pradesh will have zero impact as one of the Acts does away with mandis, wherein farmers sell their produces through middlemen, as mandi system is non-existent in the state.
The Secretary informed that earlier APMC used to collect 2% cess from farmers transporting their produces, which has been done away with. As per the new Acts, farmers will have the freedom to sell their produces without having to go through any middlemen or pay cess to the government.
With regard to the infestation of paddy fields especially in the districts of East Siang, Siang, Upper Siang and Lower Dibang Valley that caused huge loss to rice farmers, the Chief Minister urged the concerned departments to extend help in all possible manner.
He informed Govt will do all it can to mitigate the loses while suggesting provision of funds from the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF), which in fact has already allocated Rs 20 lakhs each to all the effected districts.
A detailed discussion was also held on Oil Palm Cultivation, which is central scheme under the National Food Security Mission.
Khandu and Tage Taki, Agriculture minister, who was also present, were informed that the state govt had signed MoUs with three companies – Siva Sai, 3F and Ruchi Soya for setting up oil extraction factories and buy back oil palm fruits from farmers under the scheme. While several farmers will be harvesting for the first time this year, the companies are yet to establish the assured infrastructure.
The Chief Minister took serious note of it and directed the Secretary to take up with the company authorities and the concerned deputy commissioners urgently. He said as has been proved that the oil palm grown in the state are of top quality, the scheme should be prioritized.
Khandu also emphasized on successful and prompt implementation of the recently launched Prime Minister’s Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) under which the centre along with the state will bear 60% of the total cost for establishment of a fishery and 40% will be the beneficiary’s investment.
He said this is a very important scheme and people will jump to take it. He negated the department’s concern about people getting reluctant to invest 40% saying 60% funding by the government is a huge relief for any enthusiastic farmer.
“Only genuine farmers will approach to avail the scheme and with their own money in the project, they will take great care of it,” he pointed.
During the meeting several schemes like Prime Minister’s Kisan Yojana, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (Raftar), etc were discussed and reviewed.
The meeting was attended by the Chief Secretary, Commissioner to CM, Finance Secretary, Secretary Disaster Management, Secretary Agri-Horti and HoDs of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary and Fisheries.