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Shillong, May 16, 2022: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma is on a mission to popularise farmers collectivisation programme FOCUS. He has been touring different parts of the State to interact with farmers at the grassroot to create awareness on the programme, which is one of the biggest farmers’ welfare programmes in the entire Northeast.

Speaking at an interaction programme with the farmers in Rongjeng, East Garo Hills on Monday, the Chief Minister said that under the FOCUS programme Government has earmarked Rs. 220 cr, which will benefit 4.5 lakh farmers.

He said that the innovative programme was conceptualised by the State Government to ensure that the farmers affected during Covid-19 pandemic could avail the financial assistance to restart their farming activities.

Under the programme, the farmers are mandated to form Producer Groups, which comprises 10-20 members. The Producer Groups (PGs) are given financial assistance based on the strength of the group at the rate of Rs. 5000 per member.

On a misconception in some parts of Rongjeng that the FOCUS funds were loans, the Chief Minister said, “The funds released under FOCUS are not any loan but assistance from the Government. Farmers should not get confused, and avail the assistance that is being extended by the Government.”

He also took the opportunity to inform the gathering that more than 1000 cr is being implemented in the State through various farmers welfare initiatives – milk mission, piggery mission, poultry mission, ginger mission, goatery etc.

He said that the FOCUS programme, which was launched a year ago, has benefitted farmers across the State. He said that the farmers have been availing the funds to restart their farming activities.

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.