Bhubaneswar: On the occasion of the Nuakhai festival today, 44.56 lakh farmer families of Odisha received assistance under the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation – KALIA.
In a program organised through video conference, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik released the assistance for Rabi crop to eligible farmers.
Accordingly, Rs 2000 has been credited to the bank account of each eligible farmer under the KALIA Scheme. There are 43.88 lakh small and marginal farmers, and 68,750 landless farmers in the state covered under the flagship scheme.
On the auspicious occasion of Nuakhai, the Chief Minister wished everyone and said that farmers are our glory and said that he wants the farming families to grow up with respect and dignity. He said that farmers should be involved in the development.
The Chief Minister said that till date, assistance of Rs 12,500 crore has been given to the farmers of the state under the KALIA Yojana. He also said that he wants children from farming families to become doctors, and engineers and join good professions.
It is worth noting that the state government is giving KALIA scholarships to the children of the farmers who are receiving KALIA aid.
The Chief Minister said that the state government is paying the premium of crop insurance for the benefit of farmers. He said that more than 22 lakh farmers have already registered for insurance this year.
Expressing that the state government has introduced many schemes for agriculture, the Chief Minister advised the farmers to take advantage of this opportunity to make Odisha a prosperous state in the field of agriculture.
It is worth noting that under the KALIA scheme, direct assistance is given to the small and marginal farmers to buy seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and machinery for agriculture. This prevents them from going into debt.
Along with this, the landless farmers are also given support for various livelihoods such as goat farming, chicken farming, cattle rearing, bee farming, vegetable farming etc.
On this occasion, the State Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Ranendra Pratap Swain, said that due to the foresight of the Chief Minister, many agricultural welfare schemes are being implemented in the state and KALIA Yojana is unique among them. As a result, farmers are no longer dependent on private investment firms or village ‘Sahukars’. Farmers’ confidence in themselves has increased. He said that in the last four years, the state has been continuously recording record production.
Stating that the state government has been doing gender budgeting for a few years, he said that at least 30-35 per cent of the scheme is being spent on women.
On this occasion, some KALIA beneficiaries narrated their experiences. Rani Sahu, a student studying at Dhenkanal IGIT Sarang, said that she is able to study engineering today because of KALIA scholarship. Otherwise, her dream might not have been fulfilled. So she expressed her gratitude to the Chief Minister.
Similarly, Bolangir’s Binod Pradhan, Nabarangpur’s Lachma Bhatra and Balasore’s Giridhari Giri thanked the Chief Minister from the bottom of their hearts for their financial aid which keeps them away from going into debt.
Secretary to the Chief Minister (5T) VK Pandian conducted the programme.
Development Commissioner Mrs Anu Garg, Joint Secretary Mr Arvind Agarwal and other senior officials were present. Officials and stakeholders in various districts were connected through video conference.
In the program, Principal Secretary, of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Arabinda Kumar Padhee delivered the welcome speech and the Director of Agriculture delivered the vote of thanks.