Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday said there is an urgent need to link MGNREGA scheme with agricultural activities as the sector faces huge shortage of labour.
Speaking at 3rd Governing Council Meeting of the NITI Ayog in Delhi, Rao said the suggestion, if implemented, will not only help farmers in timely agricultural operations, but also help ensure employment to the weaker sections of the society.
“There is a hue and cry among the farmers due to the scarcity of labour force in agricultural operations. In order to make Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA) scheme more useful and productive to the agricultural operations, there is an urgent need to dovetail MGNREGA to agricultural operations, by including it under the permitted activities under MGNREGA.
“It is suggested that 50 per cent of the unskilled wages may be paid under MGNREGA and 50 per cent by the farmers concerned. This may be extended to those states who opt to avail this,” said the Chief Minister.
He said in order to double farmers’ income in five years, concrete steps such as dividing the entire country into crop colonies for specific crops, based on agro-climatic regions, should be done immediately.
The state government is taking several steps to address the agrarian distress and to revive the farm sector in the state and also to revamp the rural economy by reviving the traditional activities such as, sheep rearing, fisheries dairy, Rao added.