The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India, in association with MANAGE and NABARD has launched this scheme in order to make better methods of farming available to each and every farmer across the country. The programme aims to introduce the expertise available in the large pool of agriculture graduates. Irrespective of you are a fresh graduate or not, or if you are currently employed or not, you can set up your own AgriClinic or AgriBusiness Centre and offer professional extension services to innumerable farmers.
Being committed to the programme, the Government of India is now also offering start-up training to graduates in agriculture, or any subject allied to agriculture like sericulture, veterinary science, forestry, horticulture, poultry farming and fisheries. The ones who have completed the training can apply for a special start-up loan for a venture.
Concept of the scheme
AgriClinic: AgriClinic is developed to provide expert advice and services to farmers and services to farmers on a range of aspects to enhance the productivity of animals/crops and increase the incomes of farmers. AgriClinic provides support in the areas listed below:
- Cropping practices
- Crop insurance
- Post-harvest technology
- Soil health
- Prices of various crops in the market
- Clinical services for animals, feed and fodder management
AgriBusiness Centres: AgriBusiness centres are commercial units of agri-ventures established by trained agriculture professionals. Ventures like these might include maintenance and custom hiring of farm equipment, sales of inputs and other services in agriculture and allied areas, which includes post-harvest management and market linkages for entrepreneurship development and income generation.
Objectives of the scheme
Some of the primary objectives of introducing the Agri Clinics and Agri-Business Centres Scheme are:
- To support agricultural development
- To supplement efforts of public extension by necessarily offering extension and other services to the farmers on payment basis or free of cost as per business model pf Agri-preneur, local needs and affordability of target group of farmers
- To create sustainable self-employment opportunities for unemployed agricultural graduates, agricultural diploma holders. Intermediate in agriculture and biological science graduates with PG in agri-related courses.
Candidates of the following categories are open to availing of the scheme:
- Graduates in agriculture and allied subjects from SAUs/ Universities recognised by ICAR/UGC/ Central Agricultural Universities. The degree in agriculture and allied sciences provided by other agencies are also considered subject to the approval of the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India on the recommendation of the State Government.
- Diploma, with at least 50% marks/ Post Graduate Diploma holders in agriculture and allied sciences from recognised State Agricultural Universities, State Agriculture and Allied Departments and State Department of Technical Education.
- Biological Science Graduates with Post Graduation in Agriculture and allied sciences
- Diploma in Agriculture and allied sciences provided by other agencies are also eligible for approval of the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of India on the recommendation of the State Government.
- Agriculture-related courses at an intermediate level, that is plus two, with a minimum of 55% marks.