Empowering Agriculture in Odisha through KALIA Scheme

To expedite growth in the agriculture sector and alleviate the poverty rate in Odisha, the state cabinet on Friday approved a novel scheme KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation).

Briefing mediapersons after presiding over the cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the government will earmark Rs 10,000 crore for this new scheme that focuses on five major aspects.

The five major aspects of the schemes are as follows:

  1. Financial assistance to the farmers: Under this scheme, more than 30 lakhs small and marginal farmers (about 90 per cent) will be provided Rs 10000 for Kharif and Rabi crops. The financial assistance will be given to them for five crop seasons in three years from 2018-19 to 2021-22.
  2. Livelihood assistance to landless families: The scheme will benefit about 10 lakh landless families and each family will be provided Rs 12,500 take up activities like small goat rearing units, mini poultry layer units, duckery units, fishery kits for fishermen and women, mushroom cultivation and bee keeping. The landless families will choose any of the aforementioned allied farming for which the state government has earmarked Rs 1250 crore for the next three years.
  3. Support to landless labourers and vulnerable agriculture households: The scheme has the provision to support vulnerable agriculture households who are unable to avail livelihood options due to old-age, disability, disease or other reasons. The deserving families, identified by gram panchayats, will be provided financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per households per annum to take care of their livelihood sustenance. The state government targets to cover about 10 lakh households under the scheme.
  4. Insurance cover: Under the scheme, life insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh and additional personal cover will be provided to the farmers and the landless households. The scheme will benefit about 57 lakh families.
  5. Interest-free crop loan: Under the scheme, the state government will provide crop loans up to Rs 50,000 without interest. A total of Rs 10,280 crore will be spent in the next three years up to 2020-21. The state government will review the scheme in 2021 and make necessary changes if required.

Odisha has been more progressive in this regard as it is not falling prey to temporary palliatives like loan waivers but long term measures like Kalia to improve productivity with insurance cover. It is broadly on the lines of Rythu Bandh scheme of Telengana where 6000 per hectare is given as DBT. Dr Raghuram Rajan, in an interview to Pranoy Roy few days back had emphasized the need of agricultural productivity, rather than loan waiver.

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