In India, more than 70% of rural households depend on agriculture as their primary means of livelihood. Combined, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, account for one-third of India’s GDP, making them the largest contributor (13.9%, 2013-14) to the country’s economy. With numbers like that, it is no wonder that government schemes for farmers abound, which provide a large platform to expand and grow the agricultural sector along with its allied sectors.
And Meghalaya is no exception to the above rule either. Two-thirds of the state’s work force relies on agriculture and its allied sectors. And to cap that, agriculture contributes about 20% to Meghalaya’s GDP.
Yet, only 9.87% of the state’s geographical area forms part of the agricultural real estate. This irony can be explained by the fact that the majority, if not all, of the farmers in Meghalaya are subsistence farmers with an average land holding of about half an acre.
This alone is not the only reason why government faces an annual 1.22 lakh tonne deficit to feed the state’s burgeoning population. The state’s farmers also face an uphill task with respect to marketing, transportation, the undulating topography, storage and refrigeration, among others.
The reason we are sharing information about Meghalaya is because Zizira operates from this very state, which is in the Northeast of India. Zizira is on a Journey to release the farming potential of the state.
Read our story – how our conscious business is making a difference to the community of farmers of our state Meghalaya.
Several schemes and programs have been initiated by the Meghalaya government for farmers and the youth alike that are aimed at increasing agricultural productivity, support higher studies in agriculture, provide assistance with farm mechanization, training workshops and study tours for exposure to new methods of cultivation, among many others.
There are schemes for both agriculture and horticulture. Some are state levlel schemes and some central government ones. All the schemes can be found on the Govt. website. Listed below are some schemes and programs relevant to the promotion and development of agriculture:
List of a few Meghalaya State Government Schemes for Agriculture – arranged Type of Benefit-wise: (Source)
|Scheme||Benefit Type||Scheme description|
|Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)-Corpus Fund On Crop Insurance (RKBY)||Farmer support||Crop Insurance Coverage.|
|Agriculture Research Stations And Laboratories||Farmer support||Adaptive research at farmers field. Training on Soil management, Providing Soil Health Cards, Conducting soil surveys etc.|
|Integrated Technology Enabled Agriculture Management System Or iTEAMS||Farmer support||Free Telephonic advisory, Access to Subject Matter Specialist (SMS), Transport services.|
|Plant Protection including Integrated Pest Management (IPM)||Free distribution of Bio pesticides and other IPM tools. 50% subsidy sale on Plant Protection Equipment||Mobilizing and supporting farmers the use of bio-pesticides and bio-agents by distribution of such products to encourage organic crop production.|
|Bio Control Laboratory and Pesticides Testing Laboratory||Free distribution to popularize the method.||Distributions of bio agents to farmers.|
|Soil Testing Laboratory||Free service for farmers||Analysis free of cost of soil samples preceding application of fertilizers/ liming etc. for farmers along with distribution of Soil Health Card (SHC). Free of cost|
|Agriculture Information Unit||Free service for farmers||Free distribution of information leaflets, package of practices, booklets etc, including sponsoring Farmers Group, SHG to exposure programmes like trade fairs, expos, exhibitions in and outside the State.|
|Seed Testing Laboratory||Popularizing seed testing services to farmers||Assisting seed testing services to farmers to ensure the viability and purity of seed to be sown.|
|Seed Farms||Subsidy sale||Supply of quality seeds to farmers|
|Supply Of Agriculture Machineries||Subsidy sale||Distribution and sale of Agriculture Machineries such as Power Tillers, etc to farmers at subsidized rate. 50% subsidy sale.|
|Agriculture Academic Studies||Training, capacity building||Sponsoring of seat for undergoing 4 years degree course in Agriculture/ Horticulture.|
|Farmers Training Institute||Training, capacity building||Farmers Institute provides training to farmers at the village level on update and innovation agriculture technology. The Institute facilitate exposure visit for farmers to agriculturally advanced states.|
|Basic Agriculture Training Center||Training, capacity building||Free short term training to educated unemployed rural youths.|
|Agriculture Engineering (Mechanical)||Training, capacity building||Free short term training to educated unemployed rural youths.|
|State Rice Mission||Training, capacity building||Increasing productivity and production of rice through improved technologies and extension methods. Quality / certified seeds/ organic fertilizers through supply at 50 % subsidy.|
|Organic Manures||Training, capacity building||Providing hands on training at the village level on production of organic compost inputs such as compost for plant health management for sustainable agriculture.|
|Ramie Crop||Training, capacity building||Encouraging cultivation of perennial and remunerative textile crop such as Ramie in suitable areas by providing necessary inputs and training. To provide planting materials, degumming and decorticating machines to the farmers.|
|Integrated Agriculture Training Center (IATC)||Training, capacity building||Training for enhancing skill of farmers besides imparting updated agricultural technologies to departmental functionaries. Awareness Programmes/ training conducted periodically.|
In India, more than 70% of rural households depend on agriculture as their primary means of livelihood.
Combined, agriculture, forestry and fisheries account for one-third of India’s GDP, making them the single largest contributor (13.9%, 2013-14) the country’s economy. With numbers like that, it is no wonder that government schemes for farmers abound, which provide a large platform to expand and grow the agricultural sector along with its allied sectors.
So with so many schemes available, how is it that the farmers of the state are not able to capitalize? In an Agricultural Economics Research Review study, of the 600 farmers survey in Tamil Nadu, only half were aware of government sponsored insurance schemes products. And it may be fairly safe to assume that the same can be extrapolated to Meghalaya. What is missing is information and the dissemination of the same to the farmers.
The potential of Meghalaya and the rest of Northeast India is only waiting to be discovered and realized. The government has taken the first step forward by providing the kinds of schemes and programs that will not only elevate the farmer but also put the region’s agricultural potential on the country’s map prominently. If you are connected to a farmer in any way, please share the above schemes and programs so that they may benefit and also share in their communities.