04 May 2022, New Delhi: The Indian government along with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has brought in various reforms, new policies and schemes to support farmers. These reforms, policies and schemes have been made keeping in mind even small land holding farmers as they are the ones who are usually missed out in availing benefits provided by the government.
Out of numerous new reforms, policies and schemes launched by the government, we are sharing the top 8 which have benefitted the farmers in a big way.
- Increase in agriculture budget allocation
In the year 2013-14, the Budget allocation for Department of Agriculture was only Rs. 21,933.50 crore. This has been increased by more than 5.5 times to Rs. 1,24,000 crore in 2022-23. This increased allocation in budget has been utilised to push aggressive targets both in terms of infrastructure development and financial assistance to the farmers. In the long term, the infrastructure will play a vital role in managing production and supply chain.
- Record food grains and horticulture production
Food grain production has increased from 265.05 million tonnes in 2013-14 to record 308.64 million tonnes in 2020-21 (Fourth advance estimate) which is the highest ever food grain production. Horticulture production has increased from 280.99 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 331.05 million tonnes in 2020-21 (3rd advance Estimate) which is the highest ever for Indian horticulture.
- Fixing of MSP at 1.5 times the cost of production
Government has increased the MSP for all mandated Kharif, Rabi and other commercial crops with a return of at least 50 per cent over all India weighted average cost of production from 2018-19.
MSP for Paddy has increased to Rs. 1940 per quintal in 2021-22 from Rs. 1310 per quintal in 2013-14 marking an increase of 48%.
MSP for Wheat increased from Rs. 1400 per quintal in 2013-14 to Rs. 2015 per quintal in 2021-22.
- Income support to farmers through PM KISAN
Launch of PM-KISAN in 2019 which is an income support scheme providing Rs 6000 per year in 3 equal instalments. A total of Rs. 1.8 lakh crores have been released so far to more than 11.7 crore farmer families.
- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
PMFBY was launched in 2016 addressing problems of high premium rates for farmers and reduction in sum insured due to capping. In past 5 Years of implementation – 29.29 crore farmer applicants enrolled and over 8.99 crore (Provisional) farmer applicants have received claims of over Rs. 103903 crore.
During this period nearly Rs. 21448 crore were paid by farmers as their share of premium against which claims of over Rs.103903 crore (Provisional) have paid to them. Thus for every 100 rupees of premium paid by farmers, they have received Rs. 484 as claims.
- Institutional credit for agriculture sector
Increased from Rs.7.3 lakh crore in 2013-14 with a target to reach Rs. 16.5 lakh crore in 2021-22.
Benefit of concessional institutional credit through KCC at 4% interest per annum has also now been extended to Animal Husbandry and Fisheries farmers for meeting their short-term working capital needs.
A special drive has been undertaken since February 2020 to provide concessional institutional credit with focus on covering all PM-KISAN beneficiaries through Kisan Credit Cards (KCC). Till date, 270.29 lakh new KCC have been issued with sanctioned amount of Rs.2,88,832 crore.”
- Agri Infrastructure Fund (AIF)
Within a year of the launch of AIF, the scheme mobilized Rs.7700 Crore worth agriculture infrastructure in the country for more than 7300 projects. With the support of the scheme, various agriculture infrastructure was created and some of the infrastructure is at the final stage of completion. This infrastructure includes 3898 warehouses, 155 assaying units, 136 primary processing units, 135 sorting & grading units, 20 smart & precision agriculture projects and around 3000 other kind of post-harvest management projects and community farming assets.
- Promotion of FPOs
Scheme for Formation and Promotion of 10,000 FPOs launched with a total budgetary provision of Rs. 6865 Crore in February 2020.
So far, more than 4965 FPO produce clusters have been allocated to respective Implementing Agencies (IAs). Cluster Based Business Organizations (CBBOs) have been empanelled by different IAs and already allocated blocks to them.
At national level, a National Project Management Agency (NPMA) is engaged for providing overall project guidance, data maintenance through integrated portal and information management and monitoring.