In order to deliberate upon leveraging the self-help-group (SHG) platform for rural economic growth through convergence of schemes of different ministries, union ministers from different ministries addressed the state rural livelihoods missions across the country through video conferencing Tuesday.
Addressing the video conference, Union Minister for Rural Development (MoRD) and Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar said that National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) has facilitated the creation of a network of 66 lakh SHGs covering 7.14 crore rural women. Further emphasis should be given to promote livelihoods through a convergence approach to enhance their incomes. Tomar observed that all the ministries present in the workshop, also have schemes designed to support farmers producers organisations (FPOs) and a collaborative approach may be adopted to strengthen the initiative.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs (MoTA), Arjun Munda lauded the new chapter that is being started for growth of the rural economy. He said that there are opportunities for convergence in Pradhan Mantri Van Dhan Yojana (PMVDY), a scheme under his ministry. He expressed that both ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Food Processing Industries can partner in PMVDY and involve in capacity building, value addition and marketing of the products from the tribal populated states, which may significantly increase the income of the tribal households.
Addressing the state rural livelihoods missions, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), said, food processing is a sector with an important role to play in increasing the income of farmers. She highlighted the importance of processing and value addition of food products to enhance income and reduce the wastage of primary agriculture and horticulture produce. She emphasised that MoFPI has schemes on supporting research and development, training and packaging. Schemes of MoRD and MoTA can utilise these resources of MoFPI to promote livelihood interventions in the rural areas.
On the occasion, Rural Development Minister released a book “Farm Livelihood Interventions under DAY-NRLM (Strategy, Convergence Framework, Models)”. Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ministry of Rural Development signed an MoU to take the convergence endeavour ahead and support rural poor including tribal communities, complementing each other’s strengths through appropriate convergence and synergic efforts in order to fetch tangible results to be reckoned with.
National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) has been supporting women lead and managed enterprises in farm and non-farm sectors. The mission has supported 169 producer enterprises that have supported 2.78 lakh women farmers. Under non-farm livelihoods, Start-up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP) has created an eco-system to support enterprises in over 140 blocks and has supported almost one lakh enterprises. The workshop discussed the possible ways of leveraging the prorgammes of other ministries including the Prime Minister’s Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PMFME) scheme of MoFPI which has the objective of enhancing the competitiveness of existing individual micro-enterprises in the unorganised segment of the food processing industry and promote formalisation of the sector. PMFME has a separate component for supporting SHG enterprises in the food processing sector.