India Honours Best Agripreneurs with Awards on National Youth Day
Agri-Clinics and Agri-Business (AC&ABC), a mega flagship Scheme of Govt. of India implemented in the country in collaboration with NABARD since 2002, aims to transform unemployed youth into self-employed Agripreneurs through a 45 days free residential training at different parts of the country with a provision for availing loan and subsidy from the banks. The AC&ABC Scheme is being implemented by the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), Hyderabad in different states in the country with a network of 136 Nodal Training Institutes (NTIS) spread across all the states.
This year’s National Youth Day, also known as Vivekananda Jayanti, was celebrated today in New Delhi in a befitting manner by giving National Awards to the 82 best Agripreneurs who were trained under the Central Sector Scheme – Agri-Clinics and Agri-Business (AC&ABC) of Govt. of India for their significant contribution to farmers through agri-clinic and agribusiness services. Besides, 8 Nodal Training Institutes (NTIS) that impart AC&ABC training efficiently also received Awards for their best training, handholding, and facilitation activities.
More than 850 Agripreneurs from all parts of the country, senior officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Govt. of India, MANAGE – Hyderabad, Senior Managers from NABARD, Lead Banks, ICAR Scientists, and private Agri-Business Companies attended the award ceremony held at NASC Complex, New Delhi.
Dr. P Chandra Shekara, Director General, MANAGE in his welcome address stated that so far 83,810 agri-graduates were trained under AC&ABC Scheme and about 36,560 have established Agri-ventures in the rural areas. They are able to achieve self-employment by providing services to farmers and also creating jobs for rural youth.
The chief guest Smt. Shubha Thakur, Joint Secretary, MA&FW, GoI inaugurated the Awards Ceremony and distributed awards to Best Agripreneurs and Best Nodal Training Institutes.
In her address, Smt. Thakur said the Agripreneur Awards have come a long way since instituted two decades ago. The rising numbers of Agriprenuers prove that the youth is getting attracted to the Agriculture sector. She appealed to the youth to avail of funding from the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, NABARD, and the Banking sector.
During the presentations and discussions, Senior Officers from MA&FW, MANAGE, NABARD, Lead Banks, and Agri-Business Sector shared the policy reform in AC&ABC, the latest developments in AC&ABC, subsidies, and loans under AC&ABC and explained opportunities for Agripreneurs under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, National Beekeeping and Honey Mission and RKVY-RAFTAAR.
The eminent speakers who participated in the presentations and discussion included Shri Sajith Kumar Kunhalath, Director, MA&FW; Dr. P Chandra Shekara, DG-MANAGE; Ms. Nivedita Tiwary, General Manager, Dept. of Refinance, NABARD; Shri Shantanu Pendse, CGM (ABU&GSS) SBI, Mumbai; Shri Manish Saxena, Senior IT Consultant, AIF PMU; Shri Naveen Kumar Patale ED, NBB; Shri Balram Singh, Joint Director (Extension Reforms), MA&FW; Dr. Shahaji Phand, Principal Coordinator, AC&ABC, MANAGE; and Shri Anil Kumar SG, CEO Samunnati.
*News Source: PIB India*