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Shillong, February 11: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Friday said that NPP led MDA Govt launched the innovative inclusive farmers’ welfare programme – FOCUS that will benefit over 4.5 lakh farmers in the State.

He said that the programme was conceptualised by the State Govt taking into consideration the economic hardship that the farming community had to face due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said that through this programme the farmers are grouped together as farmers collective – “Producers Groups” and financial assistance of ₹ 5000 each to each member in the group is provided.

He said that the funds can be used as seed money for upscaling farming activities.

An estimated ₹ 200 cr has been earmarked for this inclusive farmers programme. In the last three months, the Chief Minister has visited several districts and blocks in the State.

In the FOCUS program at Chokpot today, the Chief Minister distributed cheques amounting to Rs.1.2 Cr to 170 Producer Groups to upscale their farming & entrepreneurial activities.

The Chief Minister also attended the SHG Mela at the same venue and extended financial assistance worth Rs. 1.001 Cr to 29 Village Organisations and SHGs. He stated that the MDA Government is happy to support the women-led SHG movement that is empowering enterprising women at the grassroot level.

He further said that the Govt has introduced various funding options to encourage entrepreneurial activities, wherein interest-free loans are being provided to the people.

He urged the public to take advantage of the welfare initiatives launched by the Govt and motivated people to form Self Help Groups and Cooperative Societies to avail the benefits of the schemes.

He said that Govt’s welfare programmes are targeted for overall improvement in farming activities, farmers sustainable income, marketing linkages and ensures that Agri and Horti products of the State are promoted and marketed for optimum benefits.

He also announced that ₹100 cr plus has been sanctioned for various infrastructure development projects in Chokpot area of South Garo Hills, including Chokpot Water Supply, Guest House, new Civil Sub Division building and a road from 12 mile to Chokpot.

Clean Cookstoves under the CSR initiative of the Global Himalayan Expedition were also distributed to beneficiaries at the program.

Initiatives : Agriculture

Launch of “Restart Meghalaya Mission’ on 15th August 2020

The Mission comprise of a series of interventions to support farmers and entrepreneurs by enabling them to build growth-promoting basic infrastructure and services. Under this Mission, 1917iTEAMS – the IT Platform aimed at enabling farmers access to agricultural information, crop advisories and markets will be expanded logistically through induction of another 100 vehicles.

Creation of the Directorate of Food Processing on May 2018

With the objective of seizing opportunities in the sector and the untapped food processing potential of the state for uplifting the livelihoods of farmers and value chain actors, the Government of Meghalaya created the Directorate of Food Processing (DFP) as a one-stop agency to handle all matters relating to food processing in the state and to deal with all central government Ministries and Agencies (viz. Ministries of Agriculture, and Food Processing, SFAC, NCDC, NABARD, etc.) in all matters pertaining to the development of agricultural food processing sector.

First Ever Farmer’s Parliament held on 4th - 5th December 2018

The parliament was organised by the state department of agriculture in collaboration with Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (MBDA) and the Hill Farmers' Union (HFU). As a step toward the promotion of new technologies, HFU with the support of Meghalaya government, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a Machine Learning Artificial Intelligence App for farmers — called Nongrep (nongrep in Khasi language means farmer) with its software partner Impetus Solutions from Hyderabad — as a social innovation project. This app will address matters of farm aggregations, soil health and disease identification, crop yield, farm produce pickups, market linkage and retail sellers app.

Launch of the Farmer’s Portal on 7th May 2018

The Meghalaya Famers’ Portal (www.megfarmers.gov.in) of the Department of Agriculture is a platform for farmers to seek any information related to agriculture. Detailed information on farmers’ insurance, agricultural storage, crops, extension activities, seeds, pesticides, farm machineries, etc. is provided. Details of fertilizers, market prices, package and practices, programmes, welfare schemes are also given.

Awards & Recognitions
  • Meghalaya has been selected for the Commendation award in 'Total foodgrains Category-III' for 2017-18. The award consists of a citation and an amount of Rs. 1 crore.
  • Meghalaya Agriculture Department and the MIE Meghalaya Team won the '7th eNabling North East (eNorth East) Award 2019-20' in the 'Agriculture & Rural Development' category for 1917 iTEAMS project which is a project in collaboration with Digital India.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi awarded Meghalaya on May 2018 the Krishi Commendation Award for the year 2015-16, in recognition of the commendable foodgrains production achieved by the State.
  • Meghalaya has been adjudged the Most Improved Small State in the category of Agriculture and received the India Today – "The State of the States” Award on 23rd November 2018.