Millennium Post

AFAG project to be brought under MGNREGA scheme

The state agriculture marketing department provides financial aid under AFAG project to farmers to help them construct storehouses. Now the step taken to incorporate the same farmers in the 100-days job scheme will help them get some more money. As a result, a farmer just needs to spend bare minimum of the construction cost of building a storehouse.

The state agriculture marketing department provides a financial support of Rs 5,000 for constructing a traditional storehouse commonly known as Morai with a concrete base. The concrete base in traditional storehouse has been made mandatory as it reduces damage of paddy when stored for a long time. The farmers get subsidy of Rs 12,000 for constructing concrete storehouse and Rs 25,000 each is given for onion storehouses. The amount of subsidy is more for onion storehouses as its construction cost is more. It needs to be built using a special type of brick for proper ventilation of air.

Despite providing the financial assistance under the AFAG project, the state government officials had realised that farmers need an encouragement to construct more storehouses following all necessary guidelines to avoid damage of crops. An assessment revealed that more farmers would make their own storehouses if they get a bit more money. “In rural parts of the state most farmers build their own storehouses instead of engaging labourers. Thus, the decision to bring AFAG beneficiaries under MGNREGA scheme was taken,” said an official of the state agriculture marketing department. Citing an example, the official said if a farmer gets Rs 25,000 under AFAG project then he would get Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 more if they also derive benefits under the 100-days job scheme.

Separate committee headed by District Magistrate (DM) has been formed for every district. The task of the committee is to implement the project following the “standard operative procedure”. The same committee will be sending names of farmers who will be getting the benefit to the department and members of the committee will be supervising the implementation of the project. The step has been taken to develop 8,500 such storehouses across the state in 2016-17 fiscal.

According to the official there is another project of agriculture marketing department called Amar Fasal Amar Gari for farmers. The farmers get a subsidy of Rs 10,000 to buy a hand-pulled van and perforated poly crates to take their agricultural produce mainly vegetables to market or up to the storehouses. The step has been taken to ensure monitoring for proper implementation of Amar Fasal Amar Gari project. The standard operative procedure will also be followed for the project and the committee headed by the DMs will be monitoring progress of the project as well. Supervision by the committee members would help to reduce loss incurred by farmers due to damage of crops as they can timely take their produce either to market or storehouses.

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