GUWAHATI, May 31 - As part of the endeavour to boost output of horticultural crops in the State and help farmers engage in cultivation of such crops, the State government has decided to expand the scope of the �Per Drop More Crop (Micro Irrigation and Other Intervention)� under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) scheme and fixed a target for enrolment of at least 10,000 farmers by end of June.
Official sources said the Directorate of Horticulture and Food Processing, Assam, has issued targets to all the districts to enrol at least 300 farmers within the stipulated time period.
�The Chief Minister had earlier directed that at least 10,000 farmers are to be targeted by end of June,� said a source.
The Directorate recently held a meeting where a detailed map was drawn up regarding ways to implement the project.
�Field functionaries have geared up to meet the target. Once the target for the first phase is met, the scheme will be expanded further in subsequent phases,� said the source.
The recent departmental meeting, held under the chairmanship of Principal Secretary and Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC), Agriculture, and in presence of senior district-level officials, discussed in detail about ways for implementation of �Per Drop More Crop (Micro Irrigation and Other Intervention)� under the PMKSY scheme for the year 2019-20.
The Central government has allocated a budget of Rs 70 crore for Assam for the implementation of the �Per Drop More Crop� scheme during 2019-20.
�The State government has also conveyed that it is ready to release more funds as required under the Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY) for expansion of the �Per Drop More Crop� scheme. So, money is not an issue any more,� said an official.
A portal for the online application related to the scheme for the benefit of farmers has also been launched.
�From now on, farmers can directly register themselves on www.minetassam.in to avail subsidy for installation of the micro irrigation system in their field under the scheme. This is intended not only to make the system more transparent but also to help farmers easily avail the benefit of the scheme. They can now get enrolled online by either accessing the Internet on their own or at the block level community service centres,� added the source.
Under PMKSY (Micro Irrigation) component, there is a provision of 85 per cent subsidy for small and marginal farmers (up to two hectares) and 75 per cent subsidy for medium and big farmers (two to five hectares).
The official said micro-irrigation in the form of sprinkler or drip irrigation is very useful for horticulture and plantation of crops.
�There are more coverage and less wastage of precious water in sprinkler and drip irrigation methods,� he said.
All types of major horticultural crops conducive to the State�s climatic and soil conditions are being encouraged, barring tobacco and areca nut (which the government discourages nowadays), sources said.