Chief minister Conrad Sangma at the event at Resubelpara in North Garo Hills district

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma on July 28 inaugurated FOCUS+ scheme, as an expansion to his flagship initiative FOCUS to benefit the households in the state.

The new format of FOCUS+ will provide an opportunity for families to take up additional activities and contribute toward agriculture value chain development. Financial aid of Rs 5,000 per household will be provided directly to the beneficiary’s bank account.

The scheme, inaugurated at an event at Resubelpara in North Garo Hills district, is likely to provide aid to large sections of Meghalaya’s rural population and will look to transform the lives of the people of the state.

Meghalaya getting a top rating in NITI Aayog’s Innovation Index, ranked among the best in the startup ecosystem, global awards, and recognition looks to be on course to realizing its vision of being among the top 10 states in 10 years.

Speaking at the event, chief minister Conrad Sangma said: “Over the past four and half years, Meghalaya is making constant progress on various fronts, one of our key priority areas is our farmers. Our farmers’ support initiative FOCUS has provided a much-needed impetus for upscaling of farming activities, results of which are for everyone to see. Initiatives like mission mode projects in Lakadong, piggery, milk, spice, ginger, aroma and others are providing necessary means to build a support system for our farmers with interventions from farm to market.”

“FOCUS is very close to my heart because it helped a large section of our farming community! And FOCUS+ will provide much-needed aid to ensure every family in rural Meghalaya is empowered to realize their true potential. The scheme will provide Rs 5,000 cash benefits to households across the state. This is part of our vision to bring all our farmers under collectivization theme and help them through various interventions, in turn doubling their income,” he added.

FOCUS was originally launched in March 2021 and has benefitted 2.45 lakh farmers till date. It was launched to boost agri-economic activities by the collectivization of producer groups to farm and non-farm produce.

Under FOCUS+, households would be provided with a FOCUS+ card as an Identification and a cash transfer of Rs 5,000 as a family benefit. Individuals would need to get registered under a producer group to avail the benefit.

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