Agricultural Clinics and Agribusiness Center Scheme
- Plan introduction
- Objectives of starting a plan
- Concept and definition
- Capital subsidy
- Interest subsidy
- project duration
- Project activities
Central Sector Scheme – Establishment of ACABC by agricultural graduates and agricultural clinics and agribusiness centers.
- The Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, in collaboration with NABARD and National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management, has launched a unique scheme to reach better farming practices to farmers across the country. The objective of this program is to harness the expertise of a large number of available agricultural graduates. Whether you are a passed graduate or not, or whether you are currently employed, you can set up your own agriclinic or agribusiness center and offer professional extension services to a large number of farmers.
- Committing to this program, the government has also started imparting initial training in agricultural graduates and or in agriculture related areas like Bagwani, sericulture, veterinary science, forestry, dairy, poultry, and fisheries etc. Those who complete the training can apply for an initial loan for the enterprise.
Objectives of starting a plan
The scheme of agricultural clinics and agribusiness centers was started in April 2002 with the aim of increasing the efforts of the government expansion system by employing agricultural graduates and paying fees on service basis through economically viable industries. This received positive response and in a survey conducted by the National Institute of Extension Management, it was found that the promotion of private extension services has helped reduce the gap between expansion needs and challenges. It is well known that private expansion in agriculture is relatively new and most of the qualified personnel are reluctant to take loans and agricultural entrepreneurship due to interest burden and visual risk.
Against this backdrop, the Government of India decided that a subsidy-based loan related scheme should be started for setting up agricultural clinics and agribusiness centers. The scheme is open to graduates / agricultural graduates from agriculture related disciplines like horticulture, animal husbandry, forestry, dairy, veterinary, poultry and fisheries.
In brief, the objectives of the scheme are as follows:
- To carry out the efforts of the government extended system
- Providing complementary sources and services of input supply to the needy farmers
- To provide gainful employment to agricultural graduates in the field of newly developing agriculture sector.
Concept and definition
- i) Envisaged to provide expert opinion and services to farmers through agricultural clinics regarding technology, crop practices, protection from pests and diseases, market trends, value of various crops in the markets and clinic services for animal health, etc. This will increase productivity of crops / animals and income of farmers.
ii) Renting of agricultural equipment, sale of inputs and other services through agribusiness centers is envisaged. Assistance under the scheme will be fully linked and subject to the approval of the project by banks on the basis of economic feasibility and commercial considerations.
Each unit is provided with two types of subsidy under the scheme.
- A) Loan related capital subsidy at the rate of 25% of the capital cost of the project funded through bank loan will be eligible. This subsidy will be 33.33% in respect of candidates belonging to SC, ST, women and other beneficiaries and those belonging to North Eastern and Hill areas.
B) Ceiling ceiling of project cost for single projects will be Rs.10.00 lakhs. The project cost ceiling for group projects will be Rs.10.00 lakh per trained graduate, subject to the overall ceiling ceiling of Rs. 50.00 lakhs. In case of groups of five persons, one of whom is a non-agricultural graduate, the ceiling of such group projects will also be Rs.50.00 lakh.
C) In cases where the project cost is more than Rs. 5.00 lakhs and the applicant is unable to deposit margin money, the applicants should be given a maximum of 50% of the margin money fixed by the banks to meet the shortfall in the borrower’s contribution by NABARD. If the bank is satisfied that the borrower is unable to meet the margin money requirements. Such assistance will be provided by NABARD to banks without interest. However, banks may charge service charges of up to 2% per annum from borrowers.
D) The term loan will be composite in nature and the participating banks will provide bank loan as per the project cost, which will include the eligible subsidy amount as the capital subsidy will be given back-ended at the end but does not include the fixed margin amount.
Interest subsidy on the part of bank loan will be provided to banks on an annual basis to be credited to the account of agricultural entrepreneurs. For the purpose, banks will be considered for calculating interest for the financial year April-March on an annual basis for credit of interest subsidy on the part of bank loan to agricultural entrepreneurs. Interest subsidy, net capital subsidy released, will be released to banks on the outstanding balance in the account against the principal amount of the loan. After completion of one year for the first year and 2 years for the second year, it will be claimed.
The benefit of subsidy will be provided to an applicant only once. Granting and issuing grants is subject to the instructions issued by the Government of India from time to time in this regard and availability of funds.
The scheme invites the following categories of candidates:
- Graduate degree in Agriculture and allied subjects from State Agricultural Universities / Central Agricultural Universities / Indian Council of Agricultural Research / UGC recognized universities . Degree in agriculture and allied subjects awarded by other agencies obtained by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation and degree holders of institutions falling under the State Government on the recommendation of the Government of India .
- State Agriculture Universities agriculture and related subjects Diploma (with at least 50% marks) / Post Graduate Diplomadharkon and agriculture and allied subjects in agriculture and cooperatives went by other agencies received by the Department of degrees and the recommendation of the Government of India State Degree holders of Institutes under Government.
- Graduate in Biological Sciences and Master’s degree in Agriculture and allied subjects.
- Passed degree holder in agriculture and allied subjects with more than 60 percent subject material recognized by UGC.
- Degree holders from recognized colleges and universities, with BSc Biology in Agriculture and allied subjects with more than 60 percent subject matter.
- Those completing agriculture related courses up to intermediate level (ie plus two) with at least 55% marks.
Other information for the selection of candidates
The selection of the borrowers and the location of the project is done by the banks in consultation with the State Agriculture Department / KVK, Agricultural Universities. In addition, the names and addresses of agricultural graduates who have completed the training program can be accessed from the website of the Indian Institute of Agricultural Extension Management, Hyderabad .
A detailed list of activities
- Input test laboratory with soil and water quality (Automatic Absorption Spectrophoto Meters)
- Kitak Monitoring, Diagnostics and Control Services
- Maintenance, repair and customary rental of agricultural implements and machines including minor irrigation systems (sprinkler and drip).
- Krishi Seva Kendra (collective activity) with all the three activities referred to above
- Seed processing units
- Micro-propagation through scavenging units and tissue culture laboratory plants
- Establishment of animal husbandry units, production of animal fertilizers, animal pesticides, organism control factors
- For setting up processing units of honeydew, honey and bee products
- For provision of counseling service extension
- For genesis of small fish such as genesis and fishing finger
- Provision of services including animal protection, veterinary and frozen semen bank and liquid nitrogen supply
- To set up kiosks related to information technology for accessing various agricultural admissions in rural areas
- Value addition centers for fodder processing and testing units
- For setting up “Cool Chain” beyond agricultural level (group activities)
- Center for Retail Marketing Business for processed agricultural products
- (Rural Marketing) dealership of agricultural land input and output