Berhampur, Dec 24 (LocalWire) Describing the recently announced KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) scheme as a historic one, Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister SN Patro said the scheme would help farmers to augment cultivation.
“While the loan waive will benefit only few farmers, the newly introduced KALIA scheme will benefit around 30 lakh small and marginal farmers, including the share-coppers, who make up for around 92% of cultivators in the state,” the minister said here.
Under the scheme, which was approved by the state cabinet, Patro said an amount of Rs 10,000 per family at the rate of Rs 5,000 each for Kharif and Rabi seasons would be provided for taking up cultivation.
This assistance is for five crop seasons spanning three years from 2018-19 to 2021-22, he said.
As many as 10 lakh landless households will also be supported with a unit cost of Rs 12,500 to take up activities like goat rearing, fishery kits, mushroom cultivation and beekeeping, he added.
“The scheme is unique and will provide financial, livelihood, cultivation support, along with insurances to the farmers,” said the minister.
He, however, did not comment on opposition to the scheme by other political parties.
Rejecting the opposition parties’ demand for providing bonus to the farmers on and above to the MSP declared by the state government, Patro said the central government has restricted to provide bonus to the farmers.
He, however, said the government has directed the collectors to ensure sale of paddy at the rate of Rs 1750 per quintal as fixed by the central government.
Opposition political parties, including Congress and BJP alleged that the farmers are forced to go for distress sale of paddy due to late opening of mandi (paddy procurement centers) on December 15.
Mandi has also not been opened at several places in the district so far.
“Even at the mandi, the government is not procuring all paddy from farmers citing non-fulfillment of FAQ (fair average quality),” said Congress’ farmer wing chief in the state Amiya Patnaik.
Officials claimed as many as 389 mandis have been opened across the district to procure paddy from farmers. ,