Preparatory Meeting for upcoming Krishi Loan Mela held at Gyalshing, West Sikkim

Gyalshing, July 14 (IPR): The Hon’ble Minister, Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Shri Lok Nath Sharma chaired a preparatory meeting for upcoming Krishi Loan Mela at West District Zilla Panchayat Bhawan, Gyalshing, today. The Loan Mela is scheduled to be held on 22nd July 2020 at Gyalshing for the farmers of all eight constituencies of West District.

The preparatory meeting was also attended by the Chairman Gyalshing Municipal Council Shri IK Neopaney, Secretary Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Shri S B Subba, Secretary Horticulture Shri MT Sherpa, Principal Director Agriculture Shri Sherap Bhutia, District Collector West Shri Karma R Bonpo, Superintendent of Police West Shri T W Bhutia, AGM RBI Shri IYT Namchu, LDM ( SBI) Shri Gopal Lama, Managers from various bank branches, District In-charge of Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Departments, Chairman of All Sikkim Contractor Welfare Association Shri NB Dahal and others.

Minister Sharma, in his address, asserted the upcoming event of Krishi Loan Mela as one of the historic initiatives of the state government for the rural upliftment and sustainable livelihood of the farmers.

He also directed concerned officials to have strict and regular monitoring on the farming activities of the beneficiaries after disbursement of the loan. Every farmer needs to utilise the amount for materializing assigned project in order to pave the way for the repayment process.

He also outlined the purpose to increase numbers of High Yielding Varieties of livestock to achieve the targeted goal of producing Two Lakhs litres of milk per day within the duration of the next two years. He also informed to allow Gaucharan for fodder plantation and to revive hatchery farm of the district in near future.

Minister Sharma also advised banks to provide loan along with the insurance coverage. He strongly advocated for supporting farmers and asked bankers to adhere to the decisions and declarations made unanimously in previous meetings.

He also directed the house to constitute a committee for organising the event involving Chairman of All Sikkim Contractor Welfare Association Shri NB Dahal, Chairman of Gyalshing Municipal Council Shri IK Neopaney, Secretaries of Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Departments, DC West, SP West, AGM RBI, Lead Bank Manager and key persons from the Gyalshing Bermiok and Yangthang Constituency.

Secretary, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Shri SB Subba elaborated various initiatives to be taken up by the department and assured bankers to facilitate and support farmers to enhance their capacity for repayment of the loan. The department will provide training to the farmers to increase their livestock rearing skills and farmer friendly policies will also be framed at the earliest, he added. He also shared work progress pertaining to procurement of a high yielding variety of livestock, upgradation and strengthening of Sikkim Milk Union etc. and further assured to act more vigorously and effectively.

Secretary Horticulture Shri MT Sherpa outlined challenges and strength part of the farming profession. He also drew lights on increasing priority of the government to promote Agriculture and Horticulture entrepreneurship and stated, worth investing in agriculture and allied sectors. He also informed about the provision of 60% subsidy available in bamboo mission.

Speaking in the context of Water Resources, Secretary Horticulture Shri Sherpa informed that a strategic plan for convergent action is being taken up in near future, wherein the forest department shall work for water conservation, Irrigation deptt. will act for channelling and the Agriculture/ Horticulture Department will focus on other interventions.

District Collector West Shri Karma R Bonpo drew lights on various components to ensure well structured and an organised system to increase the paying capacity of the farmers. He also came out with a slew of advice for a reduction in the interest rate of the loan in the agriculture sector, implementation of Pradhan Mantri Kishan Yojana, PM Fasal Bima Yojana parallel with the release of krisi loan, Convergence of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojana and Irrigation Department, Fodder plantation etc. He also appraised the need of a Milk Processing Plant of small capacity and a slaughter house for smooth flow of farmer’s supply chain in the West District. He also urged for the revival of hatcheries of the district to ensure easy availability of Chicks.

AGM RBI Shri IYT Namchoo informed that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been carrying out all exercises in coordination with the lead bank and other branches. He also asked bank branches for in principal sanction of the loan for the farmers.

LDM (SBI) Shri Gopal Lama, lead Bank urged concerned branch managers to encourage entrepreneurs with a subsidised loan to ensure their sustainable livelihood.

Joint Director Agriculture Shri TN Bhutia proposed welcome address and informed that the department has scrutinised a total of 1042 ( One Thousand and Forty Two) applications for a loan, out of which 479 applicants have requested for Dairy farming under Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme, 240 for KCC, 135 for goat farming, 94 for Piggery, 52 for Bee Farming and 42 applicants have applied for Poultry farming.

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