HM Shri L. N. Sharma handed over financial assistance to SHGs


Gangtok, July 10 (IPR): A total of Sixty Five (65) Self Help Groups (SHGs)engaged in Value Addition of Agriculture and Horticulture produce have been presented One Lakh each to establish Processing Units under Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH) in an special programme organised at SAMETI, ICAR Complex, Gangtok, today.

The Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Shri Lok Nath Sharma graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and handed over  financial assistance of Rs One Lakh each to 65 SHGs from all districts which includes 23 SHG from South District, 22 SHG from West, 15 from East and 05 SHG from North District.

Hon’ble Minister Shri Lok Nath Sharma mentioned that the state government, under the leadership of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim Shri P.S. Tamang (Golay), is truly dedicated to uplift the downtrodden people through numerous initiatives, hence, the ruling government has provided financial assistance of Rupees One Lakh each to Sixty Five SHGs to encourage themselves towards entrepreneurship. He also shared congratulatory messages and best wishes of the Hon’ble Chief Minister.

Addressing the SHG executives/stakeholders/ entrepreneurs, the Hon’ble Minister motivated them to engage themselves in creative practices and value addition of Agriculture and Horticulture produce. He elucidated power of unity and sincerity amongst the SHG’s members in achieving visionary goal of Vocal for Local and Aatma Nirbhar Sikkim into a reality.

He underlined the significant role of SHG in building a self reliant society and highlighted opportunities, challenges and responsibilities of SHGs for revolutionary reformation in strengthening rural economy.

Motivating SHG towards Cluster Farming, he advised to acquire an uncultivated barren land for cultivation purpose and assured to bear the expenses of leasing amount by the state government. He also assured to provide financial assistance for construction of Onfarmed Collection Unit to the interested Self Help Groups.

He also threw light on revised Production Incentives Schemes of focused crops and newly introduced financial incentives for vegetables including Cabbage, Cauliflower, Green Peas, Cherry pepper, Radish, Carrot, Kiwi fruits. The state government has revised the financial incentives per kilogram of Cardamom from Rs. 20 to Rs.100, Ginger Rs. 9 to Rs.20, Turmeric Rs. 5 to Rs.10, Buckwheat Rs.4 to Rs.10 and incentives per kilogram of Orange also increased from Rs 10 to Rs.20, he informed.

The Hon’ble Minister also urged SHGs to aware farming households about the newly introduced financial incentives of Rs Five per kilogram of Cabbage, Rs. 7 / KG of Cauliflower, Rs. 8/KG of Green Pea, Rs 20/ KG of Cherry Pepper , Rs. 7/ KG of Radish, Rs. 7/KG of carrot and Rs. 20/ KG of Kiwi. While the marketing need to be executed through respective Cooperatives, Farmers Producers Organization (FPO) and VLW centre to be entitled with the benefits. He appealed farmers to acquire insurance of the cultivated varieties.

Along with assigning responsibilities to SHGs, Hon’ble Minister Shri Sharma also announced to provide opportunity of exposure visit to best performing SHGs from all districts to witness best farming practices in India after one year.

The Hon’ble Minister also announced to provide one thousand Power Tiller/ Chaff Cutter to the most deserving beneficiaries/ progressive farmers in near future. He also informed about the provision of subsidised loan (95% subsidy) for the establishment of Custom Hiring Services Centre.

The Chairman, Farmer Welfare Board, Shri Phurden Lepcha, also shared his experiences based on observation of SHGs activities to strengthen their income generating sources. He applauded involvement of SHGs in various creative works at present and mentioned that the SHG’s have been extending significant role to stabilise farmers economy at village level. The state government has always been supportive for strengthening of farmers economy through various initiatives and programmes.

Secretary Horticulture Shri MT Sherpa proposed welcome address and also drew lights behind the purpose of distribution of financial incentives and encouraged for establishment of preservation and processing unit to multiply farmers income. He stated that the most of the SHG’s are already engaged in value addition and this financial assistance will certainly motivates all SHGs to move a step forward for processing and packaging for augmenting their income sources. He also underlined farmers friendly policy of Production Incentives Scheme framed by the state government and advised to take benefits with the cultivation of vegetables and spices like large cardamom. He also stated that the progress and prosperity of the farmers only reflects the success of the implementing authority and added that the department is fully committed to extend all possible support and services for farmers welfare, at all times.

Earlier, South District SHG Incharge Tika Adhikari expressed gratitude to the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang (Golay), Minister Horticulture Shri Sharma for initiating inclusive policy to encourage SHGs towards entrepreneurship. The financial incentive was first of its kind for strengthening and promoting SHGs, she added.

The programme was conducted by the Additional Director (Spices Section) Shri BL Dahal wherein he came out with motivating inputs for farming community.

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