CMs' panel to suggest measures to integrate MGNREGA with farm work

A high-powered panel of chief ministers will find out ways through which the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) labour could be used for doing jobs that reduce cost of cultivation for farmers, enhancing production, and even fencing of farms to protect them from wild animals.

The committee will also suggest how the Act can be used to incentivise aggregation and market infrastructure, rehabilitate agricultural land after natural hazards and bring diversification in farming.

The panel headed by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also decided to organise five regional workshops, in Patna, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Guwahati and New Delhi, to discuss with all stakeholders, including state governments, the various options to better integrate MGNREGA with farming activities. The regional meetings will be completed by August 15, while the next meeting of the panel is scheduled for August 30.

“We will reach out to the CMs of all states and take onboard suggestions from across the country. Regional workshops and on-ground visits shall be organised to ensure recommendations are crafted keeping in mind labour welfare,” Chouhan tweeted after the committee’s meeting on Thursday.

Currently, a lot of work done under MGNREGA, including building irrigation structures, farm ponds, bunds and canals, is meant to assist agriculture and create permanent water...

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