Need to focus on agriculture, water resources, financial inclusion and skill development: Study

Government needs to focus on areas such as agriculture, water resources, financial inclusion and skill development under the aspirational district programme, a study assessing the impact of the aspirational district programme has suggested.

While maximum districts out of 112 districts under the programme have achieved nearly 70% of their targets under the health and education sectors, agriculture and financial inclusion are the main areas of concern for most aspirational districts as their average scores lie farthest away from the frontier. “Most of the districts are 40-90% away from their targets,” the study has found.

According to the study, in health and nutrition the economic impact of reducing severe acute malnutrition (SAM) among children is felt through the effects on productivity and lifetime learning. “The overall economic impact for all the states (only looking at aspirational districts) of reducing SAM is estimated to be a mammoth Rs 1.43 lakh crore,” the

Read More

ACRE program helps entrepreneurs develop business plan, learn new skills | Agriculture

COLUMBIA — The Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship (ACRE), in partnership with Clemson Cooperative Extension, is now accepting applications for the third-annual curriculum program for agribusiness innovators.

“Over the past three years, our ACRE program has helped dozens of entrepreneurs take their agribusinesses to the next level, boosting innovation and showing the ingenuity of South Carolina agribusiness,” Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers said.

The six-session program offers an overview of business planning and management, including preplanning, marketing, pricing, cost of production, profitability and financial statements. Participants will also pitch their business plans to an agribusiness panel for the opportunity to be awarded $5,000 ($25,000 total in awards).

“The ACRE curriculum program introduces business planning processes and management skills for starting a successful agribusiness,” said Dr. Nathan Smith, Clemson Extension economist and agribusiness program team leader.

“The program has been refined for online instruction and help with writing a business

Read More