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Mukul model for rural development

- Meghalaya CM announces floriculture and livestock-rearing schemes

Tura, July 8: Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma today announced a slew of measures to bring in socio-economic development in the rural areas.

He said the government has designed a model to ensure promotion of livelihood, encourage entrepreneurs and provide market opportunities with neighbouring Bangladesh.

Addressing gatherings at Zizak, Ampati and Betasing in the South West Garo Hills and Selsella in the West Garo Hills, he said, “The government is working out modalities to tap different opportunities for promotion of rural economy and growth.”

He also announced an ambitious cluster development project on livestock dairy mission in three blocks of Garo hills at Zizak, Betasing and Selsella and three in Khasi-Jaintia hills at Mylliem, Umsning and Mawrynkneng.

Under the scheme, 5,000 beneficiaries will be selected from each development blocks to rear cattle. Each beneficiary will be allotted a pair of cattle heads.

“The government will provide 60 per cent subsidy and the beneficiary will have to contribute 10 per cent and 30 per cent will be from the bank,” he said.

Terming that the scheme will be a landmark in the history of the state for economic empowerment of the rural areas, he said, “We will ensure that there will be surplus milk production, so that a milk processing unit can be started. We will also identify entrepreneurs by giving them support and subsidy to set up their units.”

The chief minister hoped that the scheme would enable growth in the rural area and provide multiple employment opportunities.

In the floriculture sector, orchids would be grown in Sangma said Daru, Rongkhai and Dilni in the South West Garo Hills district.

“There is a huge market for flowers in Bangladesh and our people can harness this opportunity,” he said.

Most parts of the South West Garo Hills district share a proximity with Bangladesh.

“We have held a consultation with New Delhi and our Bangladeshi counterparts to initiate the export of the orchids,” he added.

The Meghalaya government has proposed the setting up of 22 border haats in the state, of which four have been sanctioned.

The existing haats are at Kaliachar in the South West Garo Hills and at Balat in Jaintia hills.

On promotion of the textile industry, he said, “At least 3,000 women in each block along the border areas of Garo hills will be trained, so that a manufacturing unit can be set up.”

“We have wooed multi-national companies for investment. However, we have to provide them with trained and skilled manpower,” he said.

The Meghalaya Skill Development Council, headed by the chief minister, is working out a blueprint to ensure that the trained workforce is created in the next year.