Naveen Launches APC

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has inaugurated a Special Program for Promotion of Agriculture Production Clusters (APCs) in Tribal Regions of Odisha.

This project will trigger growth in farm sector with an objective of sustainably doubling the income of one-lakh small and marginal farmers by establishing Agriculture Production Clusters (APCs) in 40 backward blocks of 12 tribal dominated districts in the state over a period of 4 years.
Pradeep Maharathi, Minister Agriculture, Gagan Kumar Dhal, Agriculture Production Commissioner, Sourav Garg, Principal Secretary, Agriculture& FE, D. K. Singh, Principal Secretary, Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water were present.
Bijaya Kumar Upadhyaya, Director, Horticulture, S R Pradhan, Director, OLM, Pramathesh Ambastha, Chief Executive Officer, BRLF, D. Narendranath, Executive Director, PRADAN and various other NGO Partners and around 300 farmers were also present in this ceremony.
The farmers witnessed this program via Video Conference from 12 District Centers.
This is a collaborative initiative of Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment and Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water Department for promotion of Agriculture Production Clusters in highland regions of Odisha in partnership with Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation (BRLF) and a national level NGO PRADAN (Professional Assistance for Development Action).
The available schemes with Directorate of Horticulture, OLM, OAIC, APICOL, OLIC and other relevant Departments will be converged for creation of livelihood infrastructures required for farmers in the region.
Around150 farmers will be organized into one Producer Group (PG) and will be facilitated to practice synchronized market linked production of identified crops especially horticultural crops covering around 40 acres in a contiguous manner. 3000 to 5000 farmers of these Producer Groups will be aggregated to form the Agriculture Production Cluster/ Producers Company (PC) at appropriate level.
Total 30 such Producers company (PC) will be promoted in 40 Blocks involving around 650 Producer Groups covering 1,00,000farmers.Around 750 markets linked Agri-Entrepreneurs will be groomed and nested as value chain enablers in these regions.
As a sustainable measure non-pesticidal management (NPM) practices will be introduced in 40 Percent of the areas. To augment the livelihoods of the farmers livestock rearing (Goat, Sheep and BYP rearing) is also planned with around 40,000 families in these clusters. In these regions market routes and actors around identified commodities will be developed.
 Livelihood assets like irrigation in 16,000 acres, orchard development in 8,000 acres, farm mechanization access to 70,000 farmers and shed for Goat and Backyard poultry with 30,000 farmers will be converged from existing schemes in this project to intensify the interventions.
BRLF is bringing their Partner NGOs to work with BMMU & Block level ATMA and DMMU & District level ATMA to support in mobilizing community, strengthening producers’ institution and support the Departments in implementing the schemes. PRADAN as nodal NGO will build capabilities of the NGOs, develop implementation modalities and support the Departments in design, management and monitoring of the project. 
The total estimated cost of the project is Rs. 401.60 crores(Rupees Four hundred one crore and sixty Lakh only) out of which Odisha Livelihood Mission of Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water Department would support 70.06 crores for Institution and Capacity Building cost.
APICOL will mobilise Rs.17.80 crores, and Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Department and other relevant Departments would mobilize around Rs. 293.40 crore or more through convergence of existing programmes.
While BRLF will bring in Rs. 16.74 crore from its own resources and around Rs. 3.6 crore will be contributed by the participating CSOs for facilitation and smooth implementation of the project, said a senior official.

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