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NITI Aayog and ITC to Collaborate for Aspirational Districts Program
26 Apr 2018

Sign Letter of Intent to transform Agriculture and Water sector

NITI Aayog and ITC Limited plan to collaborate in the area of Agriculture and Allied sectors in order to strengthen farming systems in these aspirational districts.

The Letter of Intent for the partnership was signed by Shri Yaduvendra Mathur, Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog and Shri Anil Rajput, Senior Vice President - Corporate Affairs, ITC Limited, in the presence of Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog. The partnership is for a period of four years, i.e. up to April 2022, with the prime objective of increasing net returns from farming through reduction in costs of production and increasing productivity of major crops in each of the identified district.

Shri Amitabh Kant stressed on the development of adequate number of service providers and the response time of various government departments to satisfy the increase in demand for related government schemes and programmes to ensure that the partnership objectives are achieved.

Shri Anil Rajput, Senior Vice President - Corporate Affairs, ITC Limited emphasised that critical success factors comprise empowered PMCs to ensure implementation of decisions, and timely release of master trainers and other Extension Officer (EOs) since each training is tied to a seasonal calendar of crop husbandry.

NITI Aayog will work in close collaboration with the district administrations and ITC to build capacities of relevant government extension staff to create a cohort of Master Trainers. They will in turn disseminate sustainable agricultural practices and templates for seasonal planning to the Gram Panchayat level. The baseline and end line data would be collected by ITC for impact documentation, mapping of government schemes and programs along with suggestions, if warranted, for improving efficiency of delivery.

In order to ensure implementation, performance review and problem-solving will be undertaken by a specially constituted Project Management Committee (PMC) at the district level. PMC will work as a team under the concerned District Magistrates looking after the Aspirational District programme rests. It is expected that over 2 lakh lead farmers (LF) in 25 districts will be trained as a part of the partnership.

Launched by the PM in January 2018, the 'Transformation of Aspirational Districts' program aims to quickly and effectively improve the performance of these districts across identified key performance indicators in sectors which improves quality of life as well as economic productivity of its citizens: health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resource management, financial inclusion and skill development and basic infrastructure.