The Government of Maharashtra has launched an mega rural transformation project with the support and partnership of larger business houses with an objective to achieve sustainable farming within the next three years. The mega project – State of Maharashtra Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART) – will work in 10,000 villages of the state.
The project, which is being undertaken on a larger scale, will cover almost one-fourth of Maharashtra, which has 40,913 villages. Project will focus on agriculture. It will improve infrastructure and will work on assured value chains to channelise the farm produce.
The project SMART will be assisted by the World Bank. Amongst the corporate houses which have pledged support and signed MoUs include Reliance Retail, Amazon, Walmart, Mahindra Agro, Pepsico, Tata Rallis, Big Basket, Patanjali, Tata Chemical, Happy Roots, Mera Kisan, Way Cool and others.
The objective of the project is to create and support the value chains in post-harvest segments of agriculture, facilitate agribusiness investment, stimulate SMEs within the value chain, support resilient agriculture production systems, expand access to new and organised markets for producers and enhance private sector participation in the agribusiness.
The project, which will be implemented in 10,000 villages comprising 10,000 gram panchayats which were shortlisted by the state government based on multiple parameters of socio-economic backwardness in terms of development and growth.
Reference: India CSR