PM Kisan Scheme and US farmers income
Uttar Pradesh farmers top beneficiaries of PM Kisan scheme
As many as 3.3 crore farmers have received the first instalment of ₹2,000 under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PMKisan) while the number of beneficiaries who received the second portion was 2.86 crore, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar informed Parliament on Friday.
While Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 1.12 crore lakh beneficiaries getting the first instalment and 1.08 crore getting the second, Andhra Pradesh was in the second spot with 34.43 farmers getting the first instalment and 31.27 lakh getting the second, Tomar said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha. The third on the list was Gujarat where 28.32 lakh farmers received the first portion and 28.22 lakh got the second.
One of the first decisions of the re-elected Narendra Modi government was to remove the limit on landholding for PMKisan benefits. While earlier only farmers having landholding smaller than 2.5 hectares were eligible to get income subsidy under the scheme, it has now been extended to all farmers.
“The data of beneficiaries uploaded by them have to undergo a multi-level verification and validation by variousagencies concerned, including banks, and then the amount is released into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries,” Tomar said explaining the delay in payouts.
In a reply to another question, the Minister said out of 15.11 crore operational holdings, approximately 14.50-crore farmer families are expected to be benefited after exclusion. This would require ₹87,217.50-crore funding, including the administrative charges of ₹217.50 crore.
farmer Bob Worth plants soybeans on the family farm Thursday, May 17, 2018, in Lake Benton, Minn. Many predict hard times to rival the epidemic of bankruptcies that devastated American farms in the 1980s.Trump's trade dispute is just the latest factor in a longer-term decline in farm income.
More than a third of U.S. farm income in 2019 will come from the government
More than a third of U.S. farm income in 2019 will come from the U.S. government in the form of the trade war bailout, crop insurance payouts and other federal assistance.
While farm income is projected to rise almost 5%, the share of that coming either directly from the government or from government-subsidized crop insurance is way above normal.
“It is up significantly, and the big reason for that is the trade assistance package from the administration in 2018 and 2019,” said John Newton, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Those aren’t things that farmers expect to happen on a normal basis. What we’ve seen this year is more of an anomaly.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects farm income to be $88 billion. Of that, $19.5 billion will come from direct farm payment programs and another projected $10.5 billion will come from crop insurance indemnities. Farmers help pay for federal crop insurance, but the premiums are more than 60% subsidized.
In the past decade, farmers’ best year was 2013, when income reached $124 billion and government accounted for only 19% of that.
But now the trade war with China, which shut down the largest market for U.S. soybeans, deepened a four-year slump in grain prices. Poor weather in May and June delayed planting enough to keep millions of acres in the U.S. fallow.
The weather struggles continued through to harvest, with snow blanketing soybean fields in northwest Minnesota and a hard frost hitting cornfields before maturity.
Crop prices have not risen, and only payments through the USDA’s Market Facilitation Program — $6.8 billion through May and up to another $14.5 billion in a second round announced in May — have kept farmers close to breaking even.
Brian Thalmann, speaking from a combine as he harvested corn near Plato, Minn., on Tuesday, said any projection of farm income going up this year doesn’t make sense.
“You go around through farm country, and everyone would say, ‘What?’ In practical reality, income is not up,” said Thalmann, president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. “The market facilitation payments, that is not true income, that is income replacement for dollars that farmers did not receive in the market.”
Minnesota was the third-largest recipient of aid in the first round of payments, getting $681 million. Much of the trade aid has gone to soybean farmers.
Newton, the Farm Bureau economist, said crop insurance payouts should be their highest since drought-impacted years of 2012 and 2013, in part thanks to the payments farmers receive for deciding not to plant crops on ground that was too wet in the spring and early summer.
Farmers are just ready for 2019 to be over, and they want free trade restored, said Thalmann, though they aren’t complaining about the help they’ve gotten to get through the trade war.
“There is not a farmer out there that would want to get income from a government payment versus having it come from the market where it should come from,” he said. “But if there’s going to be continued outside forces beyond what the farmer can control, if part of that loss is going to be made up by market facilitation payments, so be it.”