Farmers Welfare Schemes


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Farmers Welfare Schemes 

                                                                                                                                                      

Government of India is according high priority for welfare of the farmers and is implementing several farmers’ welfare schemes to revitalize agriculture sector and to improve their economic conditions. The Government has rolled out a number of new initiatives like Soil Health Card Scheme, Neem Coated Urea, Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY), National Agriculture Market (e-NAM), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Interest Subvention Scheme.  These schemes are for the benefit of all farmers. The details of the schemes are as below:


(i)         Soil Health Card Scheme:

Launched in 2015, the scheme has been introduced to assist State Governments to issue Soil Health Cards to all farmers in the country.  The Soil Health Cards provide information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil alongwith recommendation on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility.

As on 11.7.2017, against target of 253 lakh soil samples, all 253 lakh soil samples have been collected and 245 lakh (97%) samples have been tested.  Against target of 12 crore Soil Health Cards, so far 9 crore (76%) cards have been distributed to farmers.

(ii)        Neem Coated Urea (NCU):

Scheme being promoted to regulate use of urea, enhance availability of nitrogen to the crop and reduce cost of fertilizer application.  NCU slows down the release of fertilizer and makes it available to the crop in an effective manner. The entire quantity of domestically manufactured and imported urea is now neem coated. The reports from field are positive. The expected saving is 10% of urea consumption, thereby resulting in reduced cost of cultivation and improved soil health management.

(iii)       Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana  (PKVY):

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) is being implemented with a view to promote organic farming in the country.  This will improve soil health and organic matter content and increase net income of the farmer so as to realise premium prices. Under this scheme, an area of 5 lakh acre is targeted to be covered though 10,000 clusters of 50 acre each, from the year 2015-16 to 2017-18.

So far 7208 clusters have been formed and remaining  clusters would be formed during 2017-18. 

(iv)       Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) :

Launched on 1st July, 2015 with the motto of ‘Har Khet Ko Paani’, the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) is being implemented to expand cultivated area with assured irrigation, reduce wastage of water and improve water use efficiency. PMKSY not only focuses on creating sources for assured irrigation, but also creating protective irrigation by harnessing rain water at micro level through ‘Jal Sanchay’ and ‘Jal Sinchan’.  Micro irrigation is also incentivized through subsidy to ensure ‘Per drop-More crop’.  The target under micro-irrigation for the year 2016-17 was 8 lakh ha. against which 8.39 lakh ha have been covered.

 (v)       National Agriculture Market (e-NAM):

The National Agriculture Market scheme (e-NAM) envisages initiation of e-marketing platform at national level and to support creation of infrastructure to enable e-marketing in 585 regulated markets across the country by March 2018. This innovative market process is revolutionizing agri markets by ensuring better price discovery, bringing in transparency and competition to enable farmers to get improved remuneration for their produce moving towards ‘One Nation One Market’.  A target of integrating 400 markets to e-NAM had been set for March, 2017 against which 455 markets in 13 States have been on boarded as on 30.6.2017.  As on 2.7.2017, 47.95 lakh farmers and 91,500 traders have registered on e-NAM portal.

(vi)       Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)/ Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS): 

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) & Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS) were launched from Kharif 2016 to provide comprehensive crop insurance coverage from pre-sowing to post harvest losses against non-preventable natural risks.  These schemes are only risk mitigation tools available to farmers at extremely low premium rates payable by farmers at 2% for Kharif crops, 1.5% for Rabi Crop and 5% for annual commercial/horticultural crops.  The balance of actuarial premium is shared by the Central and State Governments on 50 : 50 basis.  The schemes are voluntary for States and available in areas and crops that are notified by the State Governments.    Further, the schemes are compulsory for loanee farmers and voluntary for non-loanee farmers. 

During Kharif 2016 season, a total of 23 States implemented both PMFBY (21) and RWBCS (12) and during Rabi 2016-17, 24 States and 3 Union Territories implemented PMFBY (25) and RWBCIS (9).    Overall coverage of both the schemes is 401.52 lakh farmers and 385 lakh ha. area insured for a sum of Rs. 133106 crore in Kharif 2016 and 172.67 lakh farmers and 195 lakh ha. area insured for a sum of Rs. 71696 crore during Rabi 2016-17 season.

(vii)    Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS):

The Government provides interest subvention of 3% on short-term crop loans up to Rs.3.00 lakh.  Presently, loan is available to farmers at an interest rate of 7% per annum, which gets reduced to 4% on prompt repayment.  Further, under Interest Subvention Scheme 2016-17, in order to provide relief to the farmers on occurrence of natural calamities, the interest subvention of 2% shall continue to be available to banks for the first year on the restructured amount. In order to discourage distress sale by farmers and to encourage them to store their produce in warehouses against negotiable warehouse receipts, the benefit of interest subvention will be available to small and marginal farmers having Kisan Credit Card for a further period of upto six months post harvest on the same rate as available to crop loan.

Agriculture is a State subject and the State Governments are primarily responsible for the growth and development of agriculture sector in their respective States. The Government supplements the efforts of States through appropriate policy measures and budgetary support.  Presently the approach of the Government of India has shifted from production centric to income centric platform in the agriculture sector and the above schemes are being implemented for making farming viable.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Shri Parshottam Rupala, in reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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Ensuring Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers
The Government ensures Minimum Support Price (MSP) through procurement operations undertaken by the Central, State and Cooperative agencies in the States. State Governments have been alerted from time to time to make adequate arrangements to ensure MSP to farmers.
 
            Government offers to procure farmers’ produce at MSP, however, they are free to sell it to Government agencies or in the open market as is advantageous to them.
 
            In addition, Government has taken several steps to ensure MSP for all agricultural produce which inter alia includes setting up of procurement centre keeping in view the potential in the areas; creating awareness among the farmers of the MSP operations; making payment through arthias/co-operative societies to the farmers through Ac payee cheque/electronic mode as per prevailing situation in the states;  encouraging decentralized procurement; adopting e-procurement system; engaging private players in certain States to participate in procurement operation etc.
 
             To ensure remunerative price to farmers, the Government procured 38.65 million tonnes of Rice, 22.93 million tonnes of Wheat and 1.3 million tonnes of pulses during 2016-17 across various States.
 
            Government has also launched a scheme developing a pan India electronic trading platform under ‘National Agriculture Market’ (NAM) aiming to integrate 585 regulated markets with the common e-market platform to ensure remunerative prices to the farmers.  Each State is being encouraged to undertake three major reforms – allow electronic trading, have a single license valid throughout the State and a single entry point market fee.  455 markets in 13 States have already been brought on the e-NAM platform.
 
 
This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Shri S. S. Ahluwalia, in reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.
 
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Ensuring Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers
The Government ensures Minimum Support Price (MSP) through procurement operations undertaken by the Central, State and Cooperative agencies in the States. State Governments have been alerted from time to time to make adequate arrangements to ensure MSP to farmers.
 
            Government offers to procure farmers’ produce at MSP, however, they are free to sell it to Government agencies or in the open market as is advantageous to them.
 
            In addition, Government has taken several steps to ensure MSP for all agricultural produce which inter alia includes setting up of procurement centre keeping in view the potential in the areas; creating awareness among the farmers of the MSP operations; making payment through arthias/co-operative societies to the farmers through Ac payee cheque/electronic mode as per prevailing situation in the states;  encouraging decentralized procurement; adopting e-procurement system; engaging private players in certain States to participate in procurement operation etc.
 
             To ensure remunerative price to farmers, the Government procured 38.65 million tonnes of Rice, 22.93 million tonnes of Wheat and 1.3 million tonnes of pulses during 2016-17 across various States.
 
            Government has also launched a scheme developing a pan India electronic trading platform under ‘National Agriculture Market’ (NAM) aiming to integrate 585 regulated markets with the common e-market platform to ensure remunerative prices to the farmers.  Each State is being encouraged to undertake three major reforms – allow electronic trading, have a single license valid throughout the State and a single entry point market fee.  455 markets in 13 States have already been brought on the e-NAM platform.
 
 
This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Shri S. S. Ahluwalia, in reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.
 
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ICAR set target for achieving the goal of doubling farmer’s income
DARE/ICAR has developed 596 high yielding climate resilient crop varieties/ hybrids of field crops for cultivation in different agro-ecologies of the country during past 3 years. During 2016-17 alone record 313 field crop varieties, 51 horticultural crop varieties, 51 new farm implements, 3 vaccines, 15 diagnostic kits and breeding technology for two new fish species developed. Nutrient rich (zinc, iron, protein) varieties viz., DRR Dhan 45 (18.18 ppm Zinc) and CRR Dhan 310 (10.3% protein) of rice; WB-2 (42 PPM Zinc and 40 PPM Fe) and HPBW-01 (40.6 PPM Zinc and 40.6 Fe) of wheat, Pusa Mustard 30 (zero erucic acid) and Pusa Mustard 31 (Double zero) of Indian mustard have been developed. Rice variety IR-64 Drt-1 (DRR Dhan 42) resistant to drought and Samba Sub-1 tolerant to submergence has been developed. IPM 205-7 (Virat), an extra-early (52-55 days) maturing summer mungbean variety, first-of-its-kind globally, developed. Being short duration variety, it will help in increasing the cropping intensity and diversify the rice-wheat cropping system. Pusa Basmati 1609, Pusa Basmati 1509, Pusa Basmati 1637 and Pusa Basmati 1728 have been developed by using new biotechnological tools. Developed 51 new equipment/technologies/products and processes; 219 new prototypes for farm machinery/new farm implements; established 51 agro processing centres; and supplied 16500 units of multiplied prototypes, in the frontier areas of agricultural engineering with great potential to increase productivity, reduce cost of cultivation, reduce drudgery, improve value addition, conserve resources, provide alternate means for energy generation. Demonstrated production potential of new technologies of pulses, oilseed and other crops through 3.21 lakh frontline demonstrations in farmers’ field. Skill development of 40.9 lakh farmers and rural youth. Produced and provided 8.79 lakh quintal seed, 12.52 crore planting material and 9.09 crore livestock strains and fingerlings to farmers. Provided agro mobile advisory to 3.95 crore farmers for improved decision-making. Established 150 pulses seed hubs to produce quality seeds of important pulse crops and production of additional quantity of breeder seed of different pulses was undertaken to attain self-sufficiency in pulses. Established 38 on-station Integrated Farming System (IFS) models and refined 63 existing IFS in 14 agro-climatic regions. All these efforts complement the Government’s  efforts to double the farmers’ income by 2022.
 
DARE/ ICAR has set targets, both for short and long term for complementing the efforts of the Govt. by providing technology back up for achieving the goal of doubling farmer’s income. Targets for next 2 years include, evaluation of 20000 germplasm  and breeding lines and conservation of 4000 Germplasm for  long term storage, conservation of 200 microbial genetic resources, to identify 30 genotypes and register  for unique traits, clone and characterize 10 genes,  testing 2000 entries in AICRP multi-location trials, identification of 40 varieties including pulses and oilseeds by AICRP varietal identification committees, production of 56000 quintal Breeder seed, developing and testing 25 new technologies, conducting 10000 front line demonstrations and organizing 220 farmers’ trainings.
 
In horticulture sciences targets for next 2 years include, collection of 400 germplasms and  characterization of 500 germplasms, development of 100 pre-breeding lines, Identification of 60 promising/elite breeding lines, release of 30 varieties/hybrids, standardization of 50 production technologies, organization of 155 frontline demonstrations, developing 167 modules for capacity building of farmers and other stakeholders, production of 2261 kg breeders/truthfully levelled  seed, production of 2250 tonne breeders  seed of tuber crops and production of 12.5 lakh quality planting materials  and 5 lakh rooted cuttings.
 
Targets have also been set for soil inventory and characterization (1:10,000 scale), designing and developing of organic farming package of practices, designing, developing and demonstration of  climate resilient technologies, designing and developing technologies for managing soil health and designing, developing and testing of 3 technologies for Irrigation water Management.  Separate targets have been set for animal sciences, fisheries sciences, agricultural engineering, agricultural education and agricultural extension also.  
 
All these targeted activities are likely to increase the production and productivity of agricultural crops and other enterprises, add value to the produce, reduce cost of production and increase profit margins for the farmers.
 
This information was given by the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Shri Sudarshan Bhagat, in reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.


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