Dimapur, October 12: Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC), Nagaland, Y Kikheto Sema met with several senior officials of the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare on Tuesday and discussed various issues pertaining to the development of agriculture sector in the State.
According to a DIPR bulletin, Sema apprised Addl. Secretary, Vivek Aggarwal, that there is a huge requirement of post-harvest management infrastructure in the State such as cold storages, pack houses, marketing facilities in the district headquarters & towns, transportation of agricultural produce etc., which can also extend services to farmers, FPOs, entrepreneurs, self-help groups (SHGs) and the community under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF).
Although Centre has allocated the funds under AIF, whereby Credit Guarantee coverage will be available for eligible borrowers up to Rs 2 crore with interest subvention of 3% per annum up to a limit of Rs 2 crore, banks are shying away to come forward to give loan primarily due to issues of mortgage of landed properties, he said.
Sema requested the Centre to simplify the procedure under AIF and to direct the banks to come forward to help the farmers and entrepreneurs.
Aggarwal assured that he would personally look into it and advised Sema to identify genuine potential entrepreneurs, farmers, FPOs for viable projects and who will be willing to repay the loan to the banks.
The APC also requested Aggarwal for early sanction of “Digital Agriculture Mission” which was assured to be considered within this month.
The APC also met Addl. Secretary (PMKSY), Prasanta Swain. Sema stated that food security could be assured only through water security by creation of water bodies, ponds and channels, and requested him to consider enhanced allocation of Action Plan both under “Other Interventions and Micro Irrigation”.
Sema met Jt. Secy (RKVY), Chhavi Jha, and apprised her that RKVY is being implemented by eight Departments and four Missions and to kindly consider enhancing allocation of Action Plan in the current year.
Sema also appealed to her to consider supporting the new and innovative program on “Naga Model of Integrated Settled Farming” (N-IsF), as a major component under RKVY for sustainability and ecological services, where all the Agri. and Allied Departments can participate in a single cluster like that of business enterprise.
Sema also stated that this model can be replicated not only Northeast but all the hilly States of the country.
The APC also met Rajbir Singh, Jt. Secy. (MIDH) and requested him to increase the cost norms under MIDH especially for Nagaland and hilly regions of the Northeast from the rest of India.
Sema also met Jt. Secy. (Crops and Oil Seeds), Subba Thakur and Jt. Secy. (INM), Priya Ranjan, and thanked the Union Government for providing a well-equipped Soil Testing laboratory (STL) in all the 12 districts and also mini laboratories in all the 74 blocks in the State.
Sema further apprised him that since MOVCD cannot provide organic certification to all the block levels, creation of an Organic Certificating Agency in the State will be helpful for the farming community which can be taken up as the State has now equipped with all the infrastructure under soil health management programs such as STL, Quality Control Labs, micronutrients & bio-fertilizer production units and treatment of acidic soil. (Page News Service)