Major Initiatives for Farmers
The Government gives very high priority to agriculture and specially to the prosperity of farmers. It is implementing a number of large schemes and providing funds to State governments for taking new initiatives for increasing farmers’ incomes. Some of the major actions taken in the recent past are given below:
• Government has raised MSP in recent years by huge margin. MSP for wheat and rice has been more than doubled in last 8 years. MSP for some pulse crops has gone up three times.
• Government has doubled the sugarcane support price in four years. It stands at Rs. 170 per quintal now.
• Record foodgrain production of 257 million tonnes last year, supported by massive increase in MSP to farmers. It is more than thrice of foodgrain production 45 years back.
• Government subsidises farm loans considerably. Crop loans upto Rs. 3 lakh are available at 4% interest. Other farm loans too are available at a subsidised rate of 7%.
• Farm credit has gone up substantially. Over 6 crore farmers avail of loans from banks and cooperatives. Total farm credit exceeds Rs. 5 lakh crore.
• Government has made law for warehouse receipts to be negotiable. It allows farmers to take loan from banks on such receipts.
• Banks have issued nearly 12 crore Kisan Credit Cards, helping farmers take loans hassle-free. KCC can now also be used as ATM card.
• A special scheme, BGREI (Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India),has been launched to support farmers in eastern India. Farmers in eastern UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, WB benefit from this scheme.
• Government focus on raising pulses production. Initiatives such as special scheme to organise pulses villages and significant rise in MSP will reduce import of pulses.
• Kisan call centre provides expert advice to farmers. Toll free calls at 18001801551 get advice in 22 languages.