By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, December 21, 2018: The Odisha government on Friday joined the list of states doling out sops for farmers after the Congress scripted wins in three states riding on the promise of farm loan waiver.

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced the Rs 10,000-crore scheme for the overall development of farmers in the state soon after the cabinet approved the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme for the development of farmers in the state, CM Patnaik said.

“KALIA is historic and it will further accelerate agricultural prosperity in the state and reduce poverty,” Patnaik told reporters after the state cabinet meeting chaired by him approved the scheme.

Though the scheme did not have the provision of farm loan waiver, the Odisha chief minister asserted that all the small and marginal farmers of the state to be over 30 lakh will be covered under the scheme.

Patnaik said that “an amount of Rs 10,000 per family at the rate of Rs 5,000 each for Kharif and Rabi seasons shall be provided as financial assistance for taking up cultivation.”

Livelihood support for landless households at Rs 12,500 per each family will also be ensured through this scheme. Landless farmers can avail any one of the several livelihood options like small goat rearing unit, dual purpose low input technology bird unit, duckery unit, fishery kit, mushroom cultivation or bee keeping. The government has targeted to cover around 10 lakh households under this category.

Similarly, about 5 lakh landless farmers who are unable to receive any one of the two aforesaid benefits will be provided financial assistance of Rs 10,000 to take care of their agriculture or other requirements.

This apart, the State government will also provide life insurance support to cultivators and landless labourers through a cover of Rs 2,00,000. Provision for additional personal accident cover of Rs 2,00,000 has also been made under the scheme. Around 57 lakh such households will get benefits.

The government has also decided to make all the farm loans under Rs 50,000 interest free. Earlier the farm loans were charged at 1 per cent interest.

After announcing the scheme, CM Patnaik said “KALIA scheme is progressive, inclusive and will make a direct attack on poverty by way of a massive investment in this sector and ensuring that benefits are provided through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode.”

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