New Delhi: A Central Sector Scheme, “Establishment of Agri-Clinics and Agri-Business Centre (ACABC)”has been under implementation since April, 2002 to supplement the efforts of public extension, support agricultural development and create gainful self –employment opportunities to unemployed youths with qualification in agriculture and allied sectors.
The scheme promotes involvement of agri-preneurs trained under the ACABC scheme in providing advisory and extension services to the farmers in agriculture and allied areas. The agri-preneurs trained under ACABC scheme are actively involved in providing advisory and extension services to the farmers on various technologies including soil, health, cropping practices, plant protection, post harvest technology etc.
As per the information given by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Mr S.S Ahluwalia, since inception of the scheme, 47955 candidates have been trained and 20934 agri-ventures have been established in the country till August 30, 2016.
The National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) is the implementing agency for Training Component and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is the implementing agency for Subsidy Component of ACABC scheme.
Under ACABC Scheme, the training is imparted to unemployed candidates who possess degree/diploma in agriculture and allied subjects, intermediate in agriculture and science graduates with PG in agri related courses through selected Nodal Training Institutes (NTIs) in various parts of the country. The NTIs also provide hand-holding to the trained candidates for establishment of agri-ventures in agriculture and allied areas and facilitates in providing loan assistance from banks and subsidy support from NABARD.
There is a provision of credit linked back-ended upfront composite subsidy on the bank loan availed by trained candidates under the Scheme. The subsidy is 44 percent in respect of women, SC/ST and all categories of candidates from North-Eastern and Hill States and 36 percent in respect of other categories. The subsidy is admissible for loans upto Rs 20 lakh in case of individual and Rs 100 lakh in case of Group Projects (for ventures set up by a group of 5 trained candidates).