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State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART) Project

Topics Covered:

  1. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  2. Development processes and the development industry the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
  3. Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.
  4. e-technology in the aid of farmers.

 

State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART) Project

 

What to study?

  • For Prelims: Key features of the project.
  • For Mains: Significance of the project and challenges ahead.

 

Context: Maharashtra Government has launched World Bank assisted State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART) Project to transform rural Maharashtra.

Aim: to revamp agricultural value chains, with special focus on marginal farmers across 1,000 villages.

 

State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART) Project:

  • The objective of project is to create and support value chains in post-harvest segments of agriculture, facilitate agribusiness investment, stimulate SMEs within the value chain.
  • Focus: It will also support resilient agriculture production systems, expand access to new and organised markets for producers and enhance private sector participation in the agribusiness.

 

Coverage:

  • It will cover almost one-fourth of Maharashtra. Its focus is on villages which are reeling under worst agriculture crisis compounded by lack of infrastructure and assured value chains to channelize farm produce.

 

Significance:

  • The project is giant step towards transformation of rural economy and empowerment of farmers and also sustainable agriculture through public-private partnership (PPP) model.
  • It seeks to ensure higher production of crops and create robust market mechanism to enable farmers to reap higher remunerations for the yield. It unites agriculture-oriented corporates and farmers by providing them common platform.

 

Sources: the hindu.

Mains Question: Critically analyse the potential of agribusiness to address agrarian distress in India.