Bhubaneswar/Bargadh: Addressing a mammoth rally of farmers in the agricultural heartland of Western Odisha’s Bargarh, Honourable Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today inaugurated the process of transfer of Rs 5,000 assistance as the first instalment to 14 lakh Small and Marginal Farmers. Today’s remittance through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) would make the flow of Rs 700 crore to the accounts of the farmers from the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) Scheme.
Speaking to farmers on the occasion at Ichhapalli the Chief Minister said, “farmers are the pride of our nation and we are trying to give them back their rights. KALIA Scheme is meant for safeguarding the interests of Odisha’s farmers.’’
Saying that the Central scheme has deprived landless farmers, share croppers and agriculture workers he demanded their inclusion in the above scheme. Terming KALIA a way ahead of the Central scheme, he also demanded that instead of Rs 6,000 the Centre should give Rs 10,000.
He also handed over KALIA assistance letters to farmers after his speech. Four farmers from Sambalpur, Kalahandi, Bargarh and Balangir spoke about their experiences in agriculture and KALIA Scheme from the stage.
Till date KALIA Scheme has covered 30,40,038 beneficiaries from 30 districts of Odisha (detailed list enclosed) and more will be included as it has the mandate to elevate the economic status of nearly 92 percent of agricultural families through an investment of more than Rs 10,000crore. It would be pertinent to mention here that more than 68 percent of the State’s population depends on agriculture for their livelihood.
Before Bargarh, the Chief Minister addressed four massive KALIA Chashi Maha Samavesh (conventions) across the State in order to reach out to local farmers and spread the message of KALIA Scheme. While on January 25 he addressed a rally of Small and Marginal Farmers in Puri, on January 27 a similar event was held in Ganjam for Sharecroppers, on February 3 in Keonjhar the announcement was made regarding KALIA Scholarship and on February 15 a massive convention was held in Kendrapara for Landless Agricultural Labourers.
The State Government had disbursed the first instalment of financial assistance to more than 12.45 lakh Small and Marginal Farmers through DBT following Puri convention, assistance to more than 57,000 sharecroppers at Ganjam convention while another 3.5 lakh Landless Agricultural Labourers were provided the first instalment of KALIA financial assistance through DBT following the Kendrapara convention.
Today’s remittance of first instalment of financial assistance to 14 lakh Small and Marginal Farmers from the 65 lakh applications received from farmers applied through the Green Forms in the Phase I inclusion process under the KALIA Scheme during January last.
In a step towards making the farmers’ families economically more progressive and their children having professional education to make their lives better, the State Government on February 19 also launched the KALIA Scholarship for the children of KALIA beneficiaries would get total financial assistance from the State Government for their technical/professional education provided that they study in Government-run institutions. Eligible students can logon to kalia.co.in/scholarship and apply.
During the KALIA Farmers Maha Samavesh at Ichhapalli in Bargarh today there was also a spectrum of cultural shows displaying the rich traditions of the Western Odisha. While dance troupes were from Bargarh, Sonepur and Balangir, song performance was by Mantu Churia and band during the pre-event activities.
For Cultural Programme performances were done by Sambalpuri Kala Parishad, Ghumura performance from Kalahandi and song performance was by Mantu Churia and band.