Mumbai : Maharashtra government today signed an agreement with Sakal International Learning Centre (SILC) to educate and develop skills of farmers, especially from the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, on modern practices of farming. SILC is the education vertical of Sakal media group.
The MoU was signed in presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar and Principal Secretary Skill Development Department Deepak Kapoor.
According to the MoU, in order to empower farmers and educate them with modern practises of farming, SILC will engage with the International School of Agricultural Science of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem as a knowledge partner for training farmers based on Israel’s ‘Moshav Concept’ in which farming is done collectively and profits are shared equally.
The target will be to train around 3 lakh farmers initially, an official from the skill development department said.
All the farmers trained under mass skilling program will be given Group Farming onboarding kit which they can implement in their respective villages, he said. Nilangekar said a dedicated helpline will be sset up throughout the program life-cycle to support onboarding activity by farmers.
“To make this programme sustainable a private engagement, CSR model will be developed with pilot fund raising and market linkages model will be developed to support group farming initiative taken up by villages,” said Nilangekar.
He added that the focus is primarily on farmers of Marathwada and Vidarbha, “who are low on confidence as a resultant of crop failure due to various reasons in the last few years”. “We want them to work on community farming concept so that the liabilities go down and they are not forced to take extreme steps like suicide,” he said.
Apart from this, a two-month training program for individual skilling along with one-month internship programme will be delivered to around 40,000 agriculture students across Maharashtra. A total of 45 top performers from individual skilling program will be sent to Hebrew University for two months advance course free of cost, the official said.
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.