Amidst the widespread launch of farm-loan waiver schemes across the country, the State Government of Odisha has launched what it states to be a more efficient scheme than the stated one. Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme has been initiated by the State Government to provide financial assistance for farmers before the commencement of the sowing season. The article looks at this State Government initiative, which as estimates suggest, will cover 92% of the farmers lodged in the State. In this article, we look at the KALIA scheme in detail.
Grants to Small and Marginal Farmers
The State Government aims to cover more than 30 lakhs of small and marginal farmers in the scheme. Out of the total outlay of Rs. 10,000 crores, a sum of Rs. 10,000 per year will be provided for Kharif and Rabi crops, wherein 5,000 each will be provided for each of these crops respectively. These grants are accorded to support the purchase of seeds and fertilizers for cultivation. The period of dissemination of funds will be spread across three years (2018-19 to 2021-22).
Livelihood Eased for Landless Families
About ten lakh landless households of the Stare of Odisha will receive a sum of Rs. 12,500 for setting up goat rearing units, mini poultry layer units and other similar units. Also, activities such as fisheries, mushroom cultivation and beekeeping will be rendered financial assistance. These allied farming activities would take up around Rs. 1250 crores of the State’s exchequer for the years to come.
Support to Landless Laborers and Vulnerable Agricultural Households
Households and landless labourers, who are considered vulnerable due to their inability to avail livelihood options for reasons of old-age, disability, disease or other reasons will be provided financial assistance of Rs. 10,000 per annum. This aid is meant to cater to their livelihood sustenance. The task of identifying the beneficiaries of this assistance is vested with the gram panchayats.
Households of cultivators and landless Agri-laborers will be benefitted with an insurance cover of Rs. 2 lakhs, along with an additional Personal Accident Cover of a similar amount. This provision will be extended to around 57 lakh families across the state.
Interest-free Crop Loans
Farmers may avail crop loans of up to Rs. 50,000 without being burdened with interests. Previously, an interest rate of 1% was levied on the same.
The scheme, as specified in the respective notification, will be spearheaded by an implementation committee. The committee will report to the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Farmers Empowerment. A State Level Committee presided by the Chairmanship of Collector-cum-District Magistrate shall be formed to review and monitor the implementation of the scheme.
The initial phase of fund dissemination will take place in camps designated for the purpose. In later stages, the same will be transferred to the bank accounts of the recipients.
From the Chief Minister’s Desk
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik suggested the scheme to be progressive and inclusive and remarked it to make a direct attack on poverty as massive investments are to be made in the poverty-stricken sector. Further, the Minister opined that the scheme is historical as it covers almost 92% of the State’s cultivators in addition to all landless agricultural labourers.