Bhubaneswar: Technology has played a pivotal role in the implementation of the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme in Odisha. Launched in December 2018, KALIA provides direct income support to vulnerable farmer households and landless sharecroppers.
By leveraging technology, the State government was able to reach a large number of beneficiaries and ensure that entitlements were transferred smoothly. The positive impact of KALIA on the lives of small and marginal farmers is exemplified by the success stories of beneficiaries such as Gyanabrata Pradhan and Kiran Kumar Sahu.
Gyanabrata Pradhan, a small farmer from Cuttack district, has been receiving KALIA assistance for the past four years. This financial aid has proved to be a blessing for Gyanabrata as he no longer has to worry about borrowing money from anyone to buy good quality seeds for cultivation. The KALIA scheme has provided him with the necessary funds to purchase the best quality seeds, thereby enabling him to improve his crop yields and earn a better income. Gyanabrata’s success story is a testament to the positive impact of the KALIA scheme on the lives of small and marginal farmers in Odisha.
From the year 2021-22, KALIA Scholarship is provided to the children of KALIA beneficiaries for professional/technical education in the State. Till now, over 765 students have been assisted under the Scheme.
Kiran Kumar Sahu, son of a farmer, is one such student who has been able to fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor because of KALIA Scholarship. He is now pursuing MBBS at MKCG Medical College & Hospital in Berhampur. The KALIA Scholarship has enabled him to access quality education and pursue his goals without worrying about the financial burden on his family.
The KALIA scheme was designed with a long-term vision to provide not just farm support but also livelihood and educational hand-holding. The main objective of KALIA scheme is to provide financial assistance for cultivation in each crop season to all eligible small and marginal farmers, sharecroppers of the state and to provide livelihood assistance in three installments to landless agricultural households.
Assistance for Cultivation to Farmers
In this category, all financially disadvantaged eligible small and marginal farmers and sharecroppers are provided with financial assistance of Rs 2000 at the beginning of each crop season so that farmers can purchase required inputs like seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and use assistance towards labour and other investments.
Assistance for Livelihood to Landless Agricultural Households
Apart from small and marginal farmers, there are many landless agricultural labour households in the state who are engaged in agricultural work for more than six months annually for their livelihood. For economic development of such agricultural labour families residing in rural areas, Rs 12,500 is being provided in three phases to carry agriculture and allied activities like goat rearing, sheep rearing, poultry farming, duck farming, mushroom cultivation, bee-keeping, fish farming, silk farming, etc. This particularly benefits SC & ST population of the State.
KALIA Scholarship is being provided to the children of KALIA beneficiaries studying in all government-run vocational and technical education institutions in the state. All the educational expenses such as course fees and hostel fees will be borne by the government. This contributes to the social and economic development of small and marginal farmers and landless agricultural labourer households.