Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday launched the Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART), a World Bank financed project.
Speaking on the occasion Assam chief minister expressed optimism that this project would be able to uplift the agricultural sector of the state and inspire the farmers to adopt latest technology to increase production.
Emphasising that the young generation must be motivated to take up farming as a viable profession by showing the great potentials of agriculture, Sarbananda Sonowal urged the colleges of the state to sensitise the students about agriculture and its allied professions.
“Earlier there were no data to back up the success stories of the Agriculture Department and therefore it is important for keeping records about the changes as a result of this project which would be implemented over a period of 7 years,” the chief minister said.
Reiterating the state government’s commitment to motivate the farmers of the state to make the shift from single to multi cropping for increasing the farm income, the chief minister said that this project would be able to fulfil the state’s much larger vision of an agriculture based rural transformation by increasing productivity, raising private sector investment and create better job opportunities among others.
He also said that this new project would be able to supplement other state government initiatives like Chief Minister’s Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojna (CMSGUY), Ease of Doing of Business etc.
“We are at seventh position in the country in banana production and we produce high quality turmeric, ginger etc. We must take advantage of our fertile lands for increasing the productivity and thereby bring rural economic transformation. Potential investors must be guided to the districts where different items are cultivated as per their specific needs,” Sarbananda Sonowal said.
It is to be mentioned that ARIAS Society has been chosen by state government as the nodal agency to manage to the project considering its earlier experiences in successfully handling such projects.
Agriculture minister Atul Bora said that this project would help in bringing latest technological advancements to the farmers of the state and would help in managing the vagaries of weather. He also said that this project would put emphasis on resilience and stability of agriculture production to deal with the effects of climate change like draught and floods and would add value to post harvest segments of the agriculture.
“Agribusiness is a priority area of the state government and APART would strongly augment the initiatives for furthering agribusiness scopes in the state,” he said.
MLA Rituparna Baruah, Media Adviser to the Chief Minister Hrishikesh Goswami, Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia, Additional Chief Secretary of Agriculture Department KK Mittal, State Project Director, ARIAS Society Siddharth Singh, Task Team Leader APART of World Bank Manivannan Pathy were also present on the occasion among others.