ITANAGAR- Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu along with Agriculture Minister Tage Taki today virtually gave away 44 tractors and 22 power-tillers to beneficiary farmers of Lower Dibang Valley in the inaugural ceremony of the one-day Expo-cum-Kisan Mela being held at Roing, headquarters of the district.
The state government had in September last year launched two ambitious schemes, one in agriculture sector called ‘AtmaNirbhar Krishi Yojna’ and the other for horticulture named ‘AtmaNirbhar Bagwani Yojna’.
Today’s distribution of tractors and power-tillers are part of the AtmaNirbhar Krishi Yojana under implementation by the state department of Agriculture as well as the Govt of India’s Sub-Mission on Agriculture Mechanization (SMAM).
The scheme is based on front-end subsidies and beneficiaries are being provided credit-links by State Bank of India, Arunachal Pradesh Rural Bank and the Arunachal Pradesh Cooperative Apex Bank that comprises of 45% govt subsidy, 45% bank loan and 10% as investment by the beneficiary.
Congratulating the beneficiaries, Khandu expressed hope that the farming sector of the state, which has been witnessing a very slow growth, would receive a boost and rural economy based on agriculture would see a steep growth.
“The state government is committed to hand-hold the farming sector and I assure my farmer friends that sufficient fund allocation would be kept in this year’s budget too to continue with the schemes,” Khandu informed.
He profusely thanked the banks, especially SBI, for cooperating with the state government in providing credit links to beneficiaries seamlessly in a very short period of time.
“Credit must be given to our partner banks for releasing a total of Rs 91 crores to the beneficiaries till date from the targeted 120 crores. I hope that the same zeal and zest will be continued,” he said.
Khandu pointed that as this being the first year of implementation of the scheme there might have been few shortcomings and assured that the department will work on these and ease them out for next year.
“The state government is developing an ICT enabled online scheme application system, which will enable our prospective farmers to apply these schemes online from the comfort of their house. I request all farmers to take this opportunity being provided and avail all our schemes online from coming financial year. We are also setting up a call-centre to assist the beneficiaries with any queries or issues regarding the schemes,” he informed.
Expecting a steep rise in farm products hereafter, Khandu said that the state government is evolving a system in place to assure MSP and market-link for the farmers.
“We have a huge presence of army and paramilitary forces in our state. We are in advanced stages of talks to sell our farm produce to them and ensure a minimum selling price and market-links for our farmers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Tage Taki informed that the state government will be setting up an organic fertilizer plant at Ziro and Namsai. He said that soon the state government will supply organic fertilizers to farmers from these plants and the farmers will not have to take the trouble of searching for the right fertilizer and at the right price elsewhere.
The Kisan Mela at Roing is the second one of the four State Level Expos being conducted across the state by the department of agriculture. First one was held at Jairampur in Changlang district on March 8. The third will be held at Dirang in West Kameng district on April 12 and the fouth expo will be held at Ziro in Lower Subansiri district on April 20.