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Support to Small Farmers

In the Himalayan and North Eastern region, including Sikkim, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Horticulture Mission of North East and Himalayan States” (HMNEH) under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) is implemented with 100% Government of India contribution.

The Mission envisages production and productivity improvement programmes through coverage of area with improved cultivars, rejuvenation of senile orchards, protected cultivation, creation of water resources, adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Integrated Nutrient Management (INM), Organic farming, including insitu generation of organic inputs, Capacity building of farmers and field functionaries is also provided for adopting improved technologies. Scheme also envisages creation of infrastructure for post harvest management and marketing for better price realization of produce.

The following Missions/Schemes, primarily for the small farmers are also under implementation in the country:-

(i) National Food Security Mission (NFSM).

(ii) Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH).

(iii) National Mission on Oilseeds & Oilpalm.

(iv) National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) including Micro Irrigation.

(v) National Mission on Agricultural Extension & Technology.

(vi) Integrated Scheme for Farmers Income Security.

(vii) Integrated Scheme on Agri Census & Statistics.

(viii) Integrated Scheme on Agriculture Marketing.

(ix) Integrated Scheme on Agriculture Cooperation.

(x) Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.

These schemes provide financial assistance at higher rate to the farmers of North Eastern region including Sikkim, to improve access to new technologies, sustainable agriculture practices and integration into markets.

Agricultural credit is made available to farmers at an effective rate of 4%. This involves interest subvention of 3% for timely repayment on the concessional interest rate of 7% applicable for agriculture sector. Further, extension of 3% interest subvention scheme is also available to small and marginal farmers having Kisan Credit Cards for a further period of six months.

Small and marginal farmers are encouraged to organize themselves into registered Self-help Groups, Cooperatives, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) etc. to derive benefit of economics of scale in farming operations. Such groups are provided credit for agricultural activities as joint liability groups.

Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) was established in 1994 with a mission to link small farmers to investments, technology as well as markets in association with private, corporate or cooperative sector. SFAC has been instrumental in promoting Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and their integration in Agri Value Chain.

This information was given today by Minister of State for Agriculture Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan in a written reply to a Lok Sabha question.