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December 23, 2018

Kisan Diwas: Bangla Govt working for the welfare of farmers

Kisan Diwas: Bangla Govt working for the welfare of farmers

Today is Kisan Diwas. Over the last seven years, the Trinamool Congress government has brought about a complete change in the lives of farmers.

Given below are some of the primary benefits that farmers get today:

The combined effort of the various departments of the Trinamool Congress Government in the agriculture sector has increased the annual average family income of farmers by more than three times. From Rs 91,000 in financial year (FY) 2010-11, it became Rs 2.9 lakh FY 2017-18.

Sixty-nine lakh farmers have been given Kisan Credit Cards (KCC).

A path-breaking initiative of direct transfer of subsidy under various schemes directly to KCC and bank accounts of farmers was started in 2012.

During the seven years from 2011 to 2017, hands-on training and demonstrations with modern agricultural technology, certified seeds, machines and implements, and other critical inputs have been conducted, through demonstration centres (DC) , on the fields of more than 74 lakh farmers covering 18.6 lakh hectares of area for disseminating new technologies.

The government has encouraged crop diversification to profitable crops, viz, pulses, oilseeds, maize etc. by demonstration, introduction of improved varieties according to farmers’ and market demand, and consumer preference to ensure better realisation by farmers for their produce. This has increased the area and production of these high-value crops, enhancing farmers’ average income beyond three times.

The Bangla Fasal Bima Yojana has provided the farmers with free insurance.

The senior citizen allowance for farmers (Farmers’ Old Age Pension scheme (FOAP)) has been increased from Rs 750 per month to Rs 1,000 per month from FY 2017-18 and the number of beneficiaries has been raised from 68,000 to 1 lakh.

Krishak Dibas is celebrated on March 14 every year in memory of the farmers who lost their lives in the Nandigram incident.

To facilitate mechanisation in agriculture, farm implements like tractors, power tillers, reapers, pump sets, etc. as well as small implements were distributed among 3.7 lakh farmers at the cost of Rs 385.9 crore from 2012-13 to 2017-18.

To facilitate access to modern and large farm machineries by small and marginal farmers, the government has set up 963 Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) from FYs 2014-15 to 2017-18, providing government subsidy at the rate of 40 per cent, which is worth Rs.80.1 crore in total, to rural entrepreneurs.

Agricultural input subsidy (that is, crop rehabilitation support) worth Rs 2372.56 crore under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) was distributed among 58.51 lakh farmers for damages to crops due to natural calamities like hailstorm, unseasonal heavy rain, flood, drought etc. during the last seven years. The relief has directly been provided to the affected farmers by means of account payee cheques.

A farmer-friendly mobile phone app called ‘Matir Katha-Krishaker Katha’ has been launched.

The promotion of Farmers’ Producer Organisations (FPO) has been undertaken for organising the small and marginal farmers into groups to improve their income by standardising the quality of their produce to fetch better market price.

The Agriculture Department has played a key role in restoring the land of the Singur Project Area through the cultivation of several rabi crops including Boro paddy.

The government has enabled, during the last seven years, the dissemination of agricultural technology and information about ongoing government schemes through mass education, 1,956 Block Krishi Melas, 96 sub-divisional Krishi Melas and 17 District Krishi Melas.

A little more than 2,000 farmers have been felicitated with Krishak Ratna at the block level whereas 340 farmers have been felicitated with Krishak Samman and 21 farmers with Mati Samman at the State level during the annual Mati Utsavs.

To ensure the judicious use of nutrients through soil analysis, special emphasis on Soil Health Card Scheme was started in FY 2015-16 for the reduction of cost and management of soil health. Soil Health Cards (SHC) numbering 53.46 lakh, with recommendation for use of applications of various nutrients for different crops, have been issued to farmers. The total process of collection of soil samples to the generation of SHCs is done in online mode.

To answer farmers’ questions and to broadcast live discussions by agricultural experts, 301 weekly live phone-in programmes, each of 45 minutes duration, were arranged under the name ‘Amra Chas Kari Anande’ through All India Radio (AIR) since FY 2012-13.