Agriculture Minister Dadasaheb Bhuse and US Consul General David Ranz signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) Wednesday to promote and strengthen the SMART (State of Maharashtra’s Agri-business and Rural Transformation Programme) projects for the upliftment of small and marginal farmers. The collaboration between the state and USA agriculture department is aimed at seeking advanced technology to boost the agriculture sector in Maharashtra.
“Under the Balasaheb Thackeray Agro-Industry and Rural Transformation SMART projects, the state government plans upliftment of small and marginal farmers. The focus is to make farming sustainable and income-oriented,” Bhuse said.
The state government is also emphasising ‘Vikel Te Pikel’ (sow that sells) under which it is working on a mechanism to select crops which has a market and then develop the value chain for their flawless disbursement. The state government is also vying to seek help from the World Bank to develop the SMART agro-sector projects.
According to the state government, Ranz has assured support to Maharashtra’s initiative in the agriculture sector. After signing the MoU, he said, “America has made a great contribution in the agriculture sector, especially food security globally. It would look forward to working in the sector with Maharashtra, especially in cotton which has a worldwide demand.”