Bhubaneswar, August 21 (LocalWire): The agrarian entrepreneurs and those dependent on farm sector in tribal-inhabited pockets of the state have reasons to cheer as the state-run Agricultural Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited has taken an initiative to promote enterprising entrepreneurs from the grassroots level.
The state has signed a MoU with E-governance Services India Limited (a special purpose vehicle of the Centre) to give push to the agro entrepreneurs in 40 tribal-dominated blocks of 12 districts.
Farming producers’ organizations (FPOs), farmer interest groups (FIG), small and marginal farmers in the villages will be assisted by agriculture entrepreneurs to enhance farmers’ income through enhanced production and productivity measures in agriculture and allied sectors, said APICOL officials.
The project has been taken up on a pilot basis to inculcate entrepreneurship among farmers living in the tribal belts.
It envisages promoting the commercial aspect of farming in tribal blocks for a period of three years and establishing market links of farm produces with the local agro entrepreneurs.
Each agriculture entrepreneur would cater to more than 200 farmers in a cluster of four to five villages and would act as one stop resource and solution provider for them in the locality so that it will benefit around two lakh small and marginal farmers to augment their income in coming three years.
Additionally some AEs will provide services for livestock rearing and fisheries to augment farmers’ income and livelihood, they said.
The state has provided subsidy on loan to entrepreneurs for setting up new agro-industries Mukhyamantri Krishi Udyog Yojana (MKUY) since June last year.
The common service centres (CSC) will come up in these tribal blocks to assist the farmers and agro entrepreneurs.
Though common service centres would also be used for the filling up of online registration process for farmers and entrepreneurs including uploading and viewing of documents in the web portal www.apicol.nic.in.
The CSCs will make a mobile app to monitor activities of CSCs.
The CSC will also train its operators and agri-entrepreneurs and village-level agricultural officials on online process of MKUY, the APICOL officials said.
Odisha government has been providing capital investment subsidy to the agriculture units, horticulture, fisheries, dairy farming, animal resources development, food processing sector, agro service centre, veterinary clinic, bio fertilizer production and marketing, tissue culture laboratory, poultry hatchery and breeders farm, bakery and confectionary besides commercial duck farming.
However, the setting up of agro-units despite governmental financial incentives has been on a lesser scale in 40 tribal blocks taken up under the pilot project.