Maharashtra farmers to study agro practices abroad

ST Correspondent
Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The farmers in Pune district will get an opportunity to go on an educational tour, sponsored partially by Government of India, to Israel, Germany/Netherlands and Australia.

PUNE: In order to equip the farmers with the latest research, knowledge and technology in the field of agriculture, the government has reintroduced the programme of partially sponsoring the farmers to take an educational tour abroad to learn about the agricultural evolution taking place in other countries. The farmers in Pune district will get an opportunity to go on an educational tour, sponsored partially by Government of India, to Israel, Germany/Netherlands and Australia.

“Earlier, we had a similar programme that went on for around four to five years from 2010. However, it was stopped in the last couple of years. This year, the State government along with the support from the Centre decided to re-introduce the programme,” said Subhash Katkar, District Agriculture Officer, Pune.

Three tours have been finalised by the government for the programme. A five-nights, six-day tour to Israel, which will cost Rs 1,02,998, the government will pay 50 per cent amount of Rs 51,499, while the farmer needs to pay the rest.

For the six-nights, seven-day Germany/Netherlands tour, the total expenditure comes to Rs 1,27,696, of which Rs 63,848 will be sponsored by the government. Lastly, the Australia tour (nine-nights and 10 days) will cost up to Rs 2,43,167, out of which the government will bear the expenses up to Rs 1 lakh and the farmer will have to pay the rest Rs 1,43,167.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
Earlier, every farmer who had his name on the 7/12 extract, got an opportunity to apply for the educational tour. However, this time, the eligibility criteria has changed.

“This year, only the farmers whose entire livelihood depends upon agriculture, will be considered eligible for the tour. All others, who are either employed somewhere else or own some other business are not eligible to apply,” Katkar said. 

However, considering the expenditure the farmer has to bear by himself, another unsaid criteria is that the farmer should have enough income to afford the rest. 

He further added, “It’s completely an official tour, where the Government of India, has planned the whole programme in coordination with the governments of respective countries. For any further inquiries, the farmers can contact the District Agriculture Office, Shivajinagar.”

APPLY BEFORE AUGUST 31
- Under this programme, the participating farmers will be given a grant of either 50 per cent of the expenditure or a maximum of Rs 1 lakh, whichever is lower, for the tour. 
- The last date to submit the applications for the programme is August 31.

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