Odisha Cabinet approves KALIA Scheme for farmers

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to provide financial, livelihood, cultivation support along with insurances to the farmers of the state, Odisha Cabinet on Friday approved the Krushak Assistant for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) Scheme to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore.

The KALIA scheme got the nod of the state Cabinet which met at the State Secretariat this evening in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Addressing the media, Patnaik said that the sharpest decline in poverty level in the country has happened in Odisha. Nearly eight million people have been lifted out of poverty. Around 60 of our population is dependent on agriculture. With our intervention, from a rice deficit state we have become the 3rd largest contributor to the PDS. Bagging a record 5 Krishi Karman Awards, we are the only state in the country to have doubled farmers’ income. In 2014 we promised additional 10 lakh hectares of irrigation and we are almost there. The target will be met by March 2019.”

The Millet Mission is an example of an initiative having inclusion and equity- primarily targeting upland areas. To further accelerate agricultural prosperity in the state and to reduce poverty, the State Cabinet has today approved, the historic “Krushak Assistant for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA)” Scheme, amounting to over 10,000 crores.

The KALIA scheme, which is a historic move of the state government for the development of the peasants of the state, has five interventions:

  1. Support to cultivators for cultivations:

All the small and marginal farmers of the sate (over 30 lakhs) will be covered under this scheme. An amount of Rs 10,000 per family at Rs 5,000 each for Kharif and Rabi seasons shall be provided as financial assistance for taking up cultivation. Farmers will have complete independence to take up interventions as per their needs. This will cover 91 percent of the cultivators of the state. This component is not linked to the extent of land owned. Thus it is progressive in nature. It will greatly benefit sharecroppers, actual cultivators most of whom own very small extents of land. Further, this assistance is for five cropping seasons spanning three years from 2018-19 to 2021-22 so as to ensure comprehensive coverage.

2) Livelihood Support for Landless Households:

Most of the schemes on agriculture bypass landless agriculture households. Under this initiative, 10 lakh landless household will be supported with a unit cost of Rs 12,500 to take activities like small goat rearing units, mini layer units, duckery units, fishery kits for fishermen and women, mushroom cultivation and beekeeping.

The landless households will have the option of selecting any on the units. Among others, this will particularly benefit Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe households. An amount of Rs 1250 crores will be utilized in three years.

KALIA is progressive, inclusive and will make a direct attack on poverty by way of massive investment in this sector and making benefits reach the neediest through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode.

3) Financial Assistance to Vulnerable Agriculture Households and Landless Labourers:

Sometimes, farmers may not be able to take up cultivation and some of the landless agricultural labouerers may not be able to avail livelihood options due to old age, disability, disease or other reasons. An annual financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per households will be provided to take care of their sustenance.

Deserving families will be identified and selected by Gram Panchyats. About 10 lakh household will be covered over two years under this scheme at a cost of Rs 1000 crores.

4) Life Insurance Cover:

Life Insurance cover of Rs 2 lakhs and additional Personal Accident cover of Rs 2 lakhs will be provided to both cultivators and landless agricultural labouerers covering about 57 lakh households.

5) Crop Loans up to Rs 50,000 will henceforth be interest free:

Under KALIA an amount of Rs 10,180 crores will be spent over a period of three years till 2020-21. The scheme will be reviewed in 2020-21 for further modifications.

KALIA scheme is historical in the sense that it covers almost 92 percent of the cultivators in the state and almost all landless agricultural labourers. Out of this, about 20 lakh have availed crop loans, leaving a balance of 12 lakhs farmers who have not availed crop loans. Out of the 20 lakh loanee farmers, about 60 percent have regularly repaid the loans. Further, will entire gamut of sharecroppers and landless labouerers will not be covered under a loan waiver scheme.

In his context, KALIA Scheme covers 92 percent of the cultivators, loanee as well as non-lanee farmers, sharecroppers and landless agriculture labouerers. It also specifically take care of vulnerable agricultural families identified through Gram Panchayats and crop loans are made available at 0% interest.

KALIA is progressive, inclusive and will make a direct attack on poverty by way of massive investment in this sector and making benefits reach the neediest through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode.

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