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FMCG major ITC today said it has joined hands with NITI Aayog to train 2 lakh farmers to increase their income and raise productivity of major crops in 25 "aspirational districts" across seven states in the country by 2022.
These 25 aspirational districts are in Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and partnership is for a period of four years, i.e. up to April 2022, ITC said in a statement.
"The partnership is for a period of four years 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," the comapny said.
To implement the partnership project, the Letter of Intent was signed by NITI Aayog Additional Secretary Yaduvendra Mathur and ITC Senior Vice President (Corporate Affairs) Anil Rajput in presence of NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
"It is expected that over 2 lakh lead farmers in 25 districts will be trained as a part of the partnership... 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," the statement said.
These trainers will disseminate sustainable agricultural practices and templates for seasonal planning at gram panchayat level, while the baseline and endline data will be collected by ITC for impact documentation, mapping of government schemes and programmes 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," ITC said.
The association will cover five districts each in Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, while two each will be in Jharkhand and Rajasthan.
ITC said one district of Maharashtra will also be taken into account under this programme.