The state government is promoting the group farming model in 1,000 most backward villages across Maharashtra, which have been shortlisted for integrated development in the next three years. The model is aimed at bringing in sustainable agriculture practices, and doubling farm production and income of farmers. The government has also given the nod for extending the model to 40,913 other villages in 2019.
Apart from a dedicated team of skilled workers deployed in the villages for the next three years, the state government has made all departments adopt an integrated approach in taking every developmental project ahead to make each village a role model in Maharashtra and India.
“The transformation of 1,000 most backward villages will not only set a role model but can be scalable for 40,913 other villages across Maharashtra,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said. The sarpanch of Hiwre Bazar, Popat Pawar, who is also a member of the governing council set up in this regard, said, “Transformation of 1,000 villages will become a reality. We have worked on the draft very meticulously for almost a year. Unlike in the past where every project was taken up in a piecemeal manner, the village transformation model has an integrated approach that would bring good end results.”
Pawar, whose village is a training ground for the model, said, “Unlike in other developmental models, we are going to emphasise on two important parameters. The first will be the impact of development in tackling poverty. Secondly, we will monitor the migration trends in every village. If the economic model is successful in villages, it will immediately stop migration from rural to urban areas. On the contrary, over the years, we will notice reverse migration from urban to rural areas if the economic model is successful.”
Fadnavis had described the village transformation drive as a public-private initiative to bring real and visible changes in lives of people at the grass roots. Under the village transformation model, the CMO has deployed a team of 143 gram parivartaks (village transformers). The young graduates from various fields ranging from engineering (BTech), and Masters in Social Works to pure sciences and humanities — will make their respective villages home for the next three years. The 1,000 villages undergoing this transformation are spread across 12 districts — Nandurbar, Palghar, Aurangabad, Raigad, Beed, Parbhani, Nanded, Yavatmal, Wardha, Amravati, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli.
A senior officer working on the project said, “At present, we have elicited support worth Rs 90 crore from various corporate houses. The state government will provide matching grants. More funds would be provided if necessary.” The concept of transformation of the villages hinges on uplift of the most backward villages through wholistic development and bringing transformation in the lives of every individual.
Among key parameters being worked out are —- drought mitigation, sustainable farming, digitisation of gram panchayats, telemedicine, raising standard of education, employment generation and reducing poverty.
All the 1,000 villages have been covered under the state government’s flagship project -Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan. A group farming model with ten to 20 farmers each is being promoted to bring down investment cost and ensure higher returns. The youths in these villages would be imparted skill development training based on local requirements.