(IANS): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has launched the Self-Reliant Farmer Integrated Development Scheme.
The Rs 722.85 crore scheme will benefit more than 27 lakh farmers associated with the Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) by increasing their income substantially in the next five years.
According to the government spokesman, the government will spend the amount to provide facilities and resources to farmers at every level, from farm to market.
In the current financial year, the state government has earmarked Rs 100 crore for this scheme. Under this scheme, 2,725 FPOs will be formed benefiting 27.25 lakh shareholder farmers directly.
According to the agriculture department officials, the government has decided to set up at least one FPO in every block to increase the income of farmers in the state.
At present, a total of 693 FPOs have been formed in 408 blocks of 824 blocks of the state. About 500 to 1,000 farmers are associated on an average with an FPO.
FPOs give bargaining power to the small and marginal farmers in the sale of their crops.
According to officials, the FPOs will help enhance income of farmers selling their produce directly to traders, or companies, and also those doing contract farming.
Institutions related to agricultural development will be able to reduce the cost of farming and increase the income of the farmers by developing agricultural infrastructure.
According to the plan, a loan of Rs 5 lakh per year will be given to cluster based business organisations for five years for forming FPOs and Rs 6 lakh to the newly formed FPOs for three years.
Loans will be provided to FPOs for creation of post-harvest infrastructure facilities at the rate of three per cent, which will benefit at least 500 to 1,000 farmers associated with FPOs. It will also lead to creation of 3,000 jobs every year.
Besides, a plan of Rs 140 crore has been prepared for the creation of post-harvest storage and management infrastructure in 27 mandis of Krishi Utpadan Mandi Parishad.