Here’s a bit of good news for our farmers. The Union government plans to utilise its Digital India scheme to help farmers sell their produce at better prices. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he will ensure that farmers’ incomes are doubled by 2022 — India’s 75th year of Independence. He recently launched the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana at a farmers’ rally in Sherpur in Madhya Pradesh.
Here’s what the Government aims to do for farmers:
Create a virtual agriculture market
Photo source: india-briefing.com
The Government wants to make a common electronic platform which will allow farmers to sell their produce to buyers, anywhere in the country. The Centre has set aside Rs. 200 crore for the creation of this National Agriculture Market online trading portal. The platform will be launched on April 14 and will tackle the problem of distress selling. It aims to connect 585 mandis in the country. He also pitched for more startups in agriculture.
Ensure more farmers get access to crop insurance scheme
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The Union cabinet in January had approved the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. In this scheme, a premium of 2% of the sum insured will be charged from farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops. The Government will cover the remaining insurance premium. “We have covered entire anticipated farm income under the scheme. Even in case a farmer fails to till his fields due to drought-like conditions, he will be compensated to a certain extent,” Mr. Modi told Business Standard.
Encourage use of modern technology and equipment
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Mr. Modi asked the farmers to use modern technology and equipment. He said these, along with the traditional wisdom of farmers, will boost agriculture. “We want to integrate technology in the agriculture sector. There should be a mix of progressive farming and age-old wisdom,” the Prime Minister told The Economic Times.
Increase reach of Soil Health Card Scheme
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The Prime Minister, while distributing soil health cards among farmers, spoke about the importance of the scheme. The Government plans to target over 14 crore farmers. The scheme will help them improve productivity by providing them basic information on fertilizers. The farmers can also get soil tests under this scheme. “Per drop, more crop is what we are giving importance to. We initiated several measures for sugarcane farmers. Our dream is to increase the reach of the soil health card scheme,” Mr. Modi said to DNA.
Set up irrigation projects in rural areas
Photo source: civileblog.com
The Prime Minister told the farmers about the Government’s plan to expand irrigation. In a bid to reduce dependence on the monsoon, the Government had approved a sum of Rs. 50,000 crore to be spent on setting up irrigation projects in rural areas. “The major objective of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana is to achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level. It will also expand cultivable area under assured irrigation,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told The Indian Express.