Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Thursday launched FOCUS+, an expansion of his flagship initiative FOCUS, to benefit all households across the state.
The scheme was launched at an event held at Resubelpara in the North Garo Hills district.
Under the scheme, financial aid of Rs 5,000 per household will be provided directly to the beneficiaries' bank accounts. Households would also be provided with a FOCUS+ card as identification and a cash transfer of Rs 5,000 as a family benefit.
FOCUS+ will provide an opportunity for families to take up additional activities and contribute toward agriculture value chain development.
The scheme 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.
According to NITI Aayog’s Innovation Index, Meghalaya ranks top among the best in the Startup ecosystem, global awards, and recognition.
"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 the 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," Sangma said.
"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 further said.
On Thursday itself, thirty Producer Groups from the District (10 from each block) received financial assistance under the scheme and they were handed cheques amounting to Rs23.3 Lakhs.