For farmer

2019 interim budget brings double delight for Jharkhand farmers

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RANCHI: It was a double delight for lakhs of farmers in Jharkhand as the stand-in finance minister Piyush Goyal, who holds Finance, Corporate Affairs, Railways & Coal portfolio, announced Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kishan yojana) promising assured monetary support to small and marginal land holders. For, they are now set to get additional benefits both from state and central funds. Under PM Kishan Yojana, Rs 6,000 per year to farmer families, having cultivable land up to 2 hectares, is announced. On the other hand, chief minister Raghubar Das had already announced a similar scheme titled Mukhyamantri Krishi Ashirwad Yojana earmarking an allocation of Rs 2500 crore from coming fiscal under which Rs 5000 per acre will be credited to farmers account before khariff season having land holding up to 5 acre land. “Taken together, farmers in Jharkhand stand to benefit the most these twin schemes now,” hailed chief minister Raghubar Das at a brief interaction with reporters at Project Building soon after budget got over in Lok Sabha. “Now, with Rs 5000 from state coffers, and Rs 6000 from central funds, each farmer is set to get a minimum of Rs 11,000 and maximum of Rs 31,000 financial assistance per year in Jharkhand. Of the total 28 lakh farmers we have, over 22 
lakhstands to get the most benefit across the country,” he added. Agriculture experts as well as farmers too gave thumbs up to the budget. Talking to TOI, Birsa Agriculture University’s vice chancellor Parvinder Kaushal dubbed it as one of the best pro-farmer budget, which isn’t just aimed reducing the distress but also promises income enhancement. “I am more impressed by the announcement of setting up of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog under Rashtriya Gokul Mission for genetic upgradation of cow resources to enhance production and productivity of cows. Not just agriculture, but allied fields like animal husbandry and fisheries too needed systematic intervention to achieve the mission of doubling farmers income and this step is in that direction going by the 

announcement,” said Kaushal, adding that they (BAU) have already initiated work in regard to upgradation of cow resources on pilot basis by introducing foreign species with indigenous ones and studies were underway. Sujit Baski, a vegetable grower in Kanke having about 3 acre cultivable land, who watched the budget on his mobile, sounded elated. “Assured money from government won’t reduce our problems, but will help us in making better purchases in terms of raw materials without having to run to banks. But the catch will be its effective implementation,” he said. Agreed Shyam Sunder Bediya, a progressive farmer of Angara, who recently went to Israel on state funded exposure trip, but he went on to maintain that he would have preferred if budget would have also focussed on market linkage. “Money is okay, but it can be a sustainable way to boost agriculture. What is required is market linkage, and infrastructure support too. Even for horticulture products, there has to be a minimum support price fixed besides immediate facilities of having cold chains, storages etc,” he said. To boost fisheries, the government also announced to create a separate Department of Fisheries besides promising 2% interest subvention to the farmers pursuing activities of animal husbandry and fisheries, who avail loan through kisan credit card. In case of timely repayment of loan, an additional 3% interest subvention is announced, giving a reason for many fish growers in Jharkhand to rejoice. According to government figures, Jharkhand currently produces around 150 thousand metric tons of fish annually, a significant increase compared to 67.9 thousand metric tons in 2008. “But it (fisheries or allied sector) was often considered as an independent sector. Having a separate department will now lay special emphasis to its growth,” remarked Raju Mahli of Getalsud Mataysa Sangh.

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