Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government finally opted for a ‘livelihood and income augmentation’ scheme rather than farm-loan –waiver plan for the farmers in the state. The government feels it effective to attack the poverty of farmers by the way of “massive” investment in the farm sector. So the state cabinet on Friday has agreed to provide financial assistance of over Rs 10,000crore to the small and marginalized farmers, share croppers and farm labourers in the state in the next three years through a scheme named KALIA, abbreviation for Krushak Assistance for livelihood and Income Augmentation,

CM Naveen Patnaik who chaired the Cabinet Meeting said, “To further accelerate agricultural prosperity in the state and to reduce poverty, the state Cabinet today approved the historic KALIA scheme, amounting to over `10,000 crore.”

KALIA, that Mr. CM describes as progressive and inclusive will have five components in it to benefit 92 percent of the state’s cultivators, loanees, as well as non-loanee farmers, sharecroppers and landless agricultural labourers through financial assistance, insurance cover and interest free loan.

Government will provide Rs 10,000 a year- Rs 5000 each for kharif and Rabi to 30 lakh small and marginal farmers to start farm works. Naveen Patnaik claims the benefit will reach to 92 percent of the states’ farmers. Share croppers or actual cultivators will avail the benefit.

Under the scheme Rs12,500 to each landless household will be provided so that they can take up any one livelihood support activities from goat rearing units, mini layer units, duckery units, fishery kits, mushroom cultivation and bee keeping. The benefit will go mostly to the landless families of SC/ST. Government will spent Rs1250 crore in this head in the next three years.

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The farmers or landless farm-laborers that cannot take up cultivation or avail the livelihood support items due to old-age, disability, disease or other reasons will be provided with financial assistance Rs 10,000 a year.             Government has targeted to cover 10 lakh families with this benefit in two year with an amount of Rs 1000 crore.

The Scheme KALIA has scope of providing life insurance coverage of Rs2 lakh and also personal accident coverage of Rs 2lakh for the cultivators and landless agricultural laborers.

Government has also decided to make farm loan upto Rs 50,000 interest free under the scheme.”

In total Odisha government has planned to spend Rs 10180 crore under KALIA till the Naveen’s “historic” scheme will be placed for review in 2020-21.

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