September 19, 2020

Custom hiring lesson from MP

Patna: Taking a leaf from Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, too, is going to give boost to opening of custom-hiring centres across the state.

A custom-hiring centre provides agriculture implements at a reasonable rate to farmers, helping them shift to mechanised farming without investing much in purchasing equipment.

Madhya Pradesh has 2,100 such functional centres and Bihar took the decision to replicate it after agriculture minister Prem Kumar’s recent visit to Madhya Pradesh, from where he returned on Tuesday.

“Bihar too is in the process of implementing the scheme under which custom-hiring centres are opened and now we will take steps to open such centres in a big way in the state,” the minister said on Wednesday.

Department sources said that according to the scheme’s norms, the government provides financial help to those willing to open such centres and in case of individuals 50 per cent of the Rs 40 lakh project cost is given as subsidy for opening such centres.

Where a group of farmers take the initiative to open such cooperatives, the subsidy amount rises to 80 per cent.

As things stand now, the agriculture department has received 87 applications for opening custom hiring centres but the scheme has not taken off the way the government wanted it to.

“The minister has asked officials concerned to find out the feasibility of opening such centres by the department itself, so that these could be made functional in the shortest possible time and all regions can be served by this innovative concept of promoting mechanised harvesting,” said an agriculture department official.

According to an idea mooted by the department, these centres will be made functional in all 243 farms, 38 Krishi Vigyan Kendra, 12 agriculture colleges and same number of research centres.

In Madhya Pradesh, the Bihar minister also visited some of the skill development centres being run by manufacturers of agriculture implements and was informed that some of the youths were also being placed from such centres.

The requirement of such trained hands becomes important, as they know how to operate various agriculture implements and are equipped with the skill to repair the equipment.

The state government is running such skill development centres at 89 places as part of the government initiative but now emphasis would be laid on roping in manufacturers to open such centres as in Madhya Pradesh, said the official and added that the minister would soon hold consultations with interested companies for this purpose.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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