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Odisha launches scheme for overall development of farmers

Odisha launches scheme for overall development of farmers

Bhubaneswar, Dec 31 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Monday launched a Rs 10,180-crore scheme for overall development of farmers mainly small, marginal and landless farmers.The Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme also includes a life insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh for farmers across the state, Patnaik said.The scheme was launched via video conferencing at the state Secretariat here."KALIA scheme covers 92 per cent of cultivators, loanee as well as non-lonee farmers, share croppers and landless agriculture labourers," the chief minister said.The scheme aims to take care of vulnerable agricultural families identified through gram panchayats and grant them crop loans at zero per cent interest, he said.The state government has set a target to disburse Rs 5,000 each to farmers between January 22 and January 25 in the first phase. Collectors have been asked to identify the beneficiaries so that they could be given Rs 5,000 per family for Rabi cultivation, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister S N Patro saidUnder the scheme, the state government will provide financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per farmer family per annum. While Rs 5,000 will be given during the Kharif season, an equal amount will be provided to farmers as input cost during Rabi season.Around 30 lakh small and marginal farmers' families will be able to avail the amount for their agricultural investment, Patro said.For landless farmers, the scheme would enable them to avail a unit cost of Rs 12,500 for goat rearing, poultry farming, duck rearing, bee keeping and mushroom cultivation, he said.The scheme would provide life insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh and additional personal accident cover of Rs 2 lakh for around 57 lakh cultivators and landless agricultural labourers in the state, the food supplies minister added.As per 2011 census, out of 32.46 lakh cultivators in the state, 30.176 lakh (92 per cent) are small and marginal cultivators and 24.20 lakh agricultural labourers are dependent on agriculture as their main occupation.The scheme will be implemented in three phases, Patro said."The fund transfer in the first phase to eligible farmers after verification shall be completed by January 25," he said, adding that the second phase will be completed by February 15, while phase 3 will include all left out cases.Meanwhile, the opposition Congress and the BJP criticised the state government over the move and termed it an attempt to fool farmers ahead of the 2019 elections. PTI AAM NN IJT