Meghalaya is a rural economy where 77% of its population are dependent in agriculture and allied sector. The agriculture sector has the potential to create employment opportunities and generate income to a significant portion of the population, can ensure stable food supply reducing the risk of food shortages and price volatility for the state. Considering this, agriculture can play a crucial role in becoming a one of the key drivers of economic growth of the state. Government of Meghalaya understands that several factors such as technology, supply chain and logistics and market access are important for promoting sustainability and resilience in the sector.
However, based on the overall assessment of the mobility scenario of the state conducted under “Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project”, it was highlighted that the lesser developed transportation infrastructure is severely impacting agricultural trade and commerce in the state. To mitigate the gap, Department of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, Government of Meghalaya has launched, “PRIME Agriculture Response Vehicle Scheme (PRIME-ARVS)” in 2022 at the cost of Rs. 6.7 crores to the state. Under the scheme financial aid was provided to entrepreneurs from rural areas to buy small and medium sized pick-up trucks to transport agriculture produce from farms to the market. Additional support services through 1917iTeams to link the vehicle owners under the scheme with the market was also initiated. A total of 113 numbers of various farmer’s groups which included Integrated Village Cooperative Societies, multipurpose societies, Self Help Groups, Village Organizations, FPOs, FPCs etc. from across the state are benefitted in the first phase of the scheme.
However, to further support the rural communities involved in agriculture and allied sector, the state has decided to include more entre PRIME ARVS and is to be relaunched under the Chief Minister’s Elevate Program. Understanding the need of aggregators to transport higher quantities of products as well transport perishable products under refrigeration to maintain freshness, the government has added medium sized trucks and reefer trucks in the second phase of the scheme.
Under this Scheme, entrepreneurs will receive 95% of the project cost as credit or loan from the partner banks. Entrepreneurs are required to contribute only 5% of the project cost (on-road price of the vehicle) as margin money or vehicle down payment to the banks. Out of the 95% of the project cost as loan component, Government of Meghalaya will provide 45% of the project cost as financial aid in the form of capital subsidy and as interest free component. To support the entrepreneurs during first 12 months of their operation, 5% of project cost will be provided as EMI co-payment. Additional support will be provided through the implementing agency of the scheme in the form trainings, capacity building programs etc.
Objectives of the scheme
- Economic growth of the state:
With 77% of the population involved with agriculture and allied sectors in rural areas, the PRIME ARVS is envisaged to accelerate and sustain economic development of the state through entrepreneurship development, job creation in the rural community.
- Encourage entrepreneurship among rural youth:
The scheme is intended to encourage entrepreneurship among the rural youth by providing them easy credit access and financial grant to buy commercial vehicles. These vehicles can be used by the entrepreneurs to earn their income by providing transportation solution to local farmers, traders, and buyers.
- Logistics solution to farm produce:
To provide a transportation solution to evacuate farms produce to intended destinations such as markets, processing facilities or aggregation centres. Similarly, the vehicles can also transport various farming inputs from the market for timely and successful agricultural operations.
- Lower transportation cost:
Introducing more numbers of commercial goods carriers will potentially help reduce logistics cost for the marginal farmers by fostering competition among the logistics providers. Various farmers groups who will be benefitted with the vehicles under the scheme will significantly reduce the transportation cost of their own grown/ aggregated farm products.
- Market accessibility to farmers from remote area:
The majority of the vehicles are intended for entrepreneurs residing in remote areas so that farmers living in their proximity from nearby villages and clusters can be benefitted. The farmers residing in these areas can quickly avail their transportation services to sell their farm produce and buy back their essentials from the markets.
- Increase farmer’s profitability:
Timely evacuation of farm produce will have a significant impact on farmer’s profitability by minimizing spoilage of perishable products; reducing additional storage costs such as refrigeration, storage facilities; increasing market accessibility; maintaining cash flow through quicker sales and lastly by enhancing customer satisfaction by building trust and long-term relationship with the buyers.
- Financial grant and easy credit to the entrepreneurs to buy goods carriers
300 Prime Agriculture Response Vehicles (Prime-ARVs) to be distributed across Meghalaya with 50% financial aid on the total cost of the vehicle including the interest charged by the bank to finance the vehicle.
- Demand creation through 1917iTeams
Vehicles will be registered with 1917iTeams who will provide transportation demand calls from customers to the vehicle owners. Vehicles will be pre-fitted with GPS device ensuring trackability of the vehicle by 1917iTeams. The live location of the vehicle will help in immediately connecting the farmers/ aggregators/ buyers to their nearest available vehicle.
1. Financial aid of 50% of the project cost (on-road price of the vehicle) in the form of capital subsidy and operational subsidy and to buy any goods carrier for agriculture logistics from various options mentioned in the scheme guidelines.
2. Support through 1917iTeams to connect with the traders, buyers and sellers in the market which will provide them additional transportation businesses.
3. Trainings and capacity building programs designed by the department and 1917 iTeams.
|Who can apply?|
1. Individuals from Meghalaya
2. Any farmer’s association/group/entity registered in Meghalaya such as Cooperatives, Farmer Producer Companies (FPC), Farmer Producer Organisation (FPO) etc.
3. Any unregistered entity such as village organizations, self-help groups, producer groups and any other traditional institutions etc. based in Meghalaya can apply
Note: Applications from following shall not be ordinarily considered.
1. Pressure groups and organizations that are primarily political in nature
2. Government employees (currently employed or retired and drawing pension) and their dependents.
|Nodal Department for the CM’s Elevate Program||Planning, Investment Promotion & Sustainable Development Department|
|Nodal Department for the scheme||Department of Agriculture& Farmers’ Welfare, Government of Meghalaya|
|Partner banks for credit support|
1. Meghalaya Rural Bank (MRB)
2. The Meghalaya Co-Operative Apex Bank Ltd (MCAB)
3. State Bank of India (SBI)
4. HDFC Bank
5. Northeast Small Finance Bank
6. The Shillong Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd
Distribution of vehicles and models offered under the scheme:
Vehicle distribution across Meghalaya
Vehicles are to be distributed across the state based on the assessment of agricultural production, size of the block, the need of the agriculture transportation vehicles in that area and accessibility to the markets.
Vehicle models under the scheme
Based on various requirements of the farmers to transport agriculture and allied sector products, different categories of goods carriers have been listed for the entrepreneurs to buy.
- The entrepreneurs can opt for any vehicle from the list based on their need.
- However, justifications for the same needed to be provided in the application form.
- Additionally, the evaluation committee may also guide the entrepreneurs to buy a vehicle from a different category based on the evaluation of the requirements with respect to the entrepreneur’s location.
- Ex-showroom prices of the vehicles may vary at the time buying
- Ex-showroom prices do not include other components of on-road cost of the vehicle such as registration, insurance, road tax etc.