While the rest of the world has very few kind words to say for the year 2020, for farmers in AP, it was a time to reap benefits like never before. The year brought good rainfall leading to a bumper crop and in the testing times of Covid, Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy gave the much needed helping hand by procuring agriculture produce – even perishable goods – and ensuring MSP while keeping a check on price fluctuations.
AP farmers probably couldn’t have asked for more, with Rythu Bharosa in three timely spells, crop insurance, input subsidy, soft loans, setting up of RBKs that serve as a ‘one stop shop’ for all their needs – from supply of quality seeds to procurement and marketing facilities.
The year has also seen horticulture and aquaculture farmers getting their due share and unveiling of plans for setting up of cold storage units, godowns, agri labs among others. With Polavaram poised for completion and other projects moving at a rapid pace, the extent of land under cultivation is all set to be increased. Arid and upland farmers have seen ‘Jala Kala’ with the drilling of bore wells and free power for nine hours during the day time has become a reality.
Though Jaganmohan Reddy has promised to pay Rs 12,500 for four years in the party’s manifesto, the amount was increased to Rs 13,500 and the period extended for five years. Accordingly, Rs 7,500 and Rs 4,000 would be credited to each farmer’s bank account before Kharif and Rabi seasons and Rs 2,000 would be given during Sankranti. This year, Sankranti will set in early as the Rs 2,000 is being given on December 29 benefiting 50.47 lakh farmer families and the total amount being Rs 1,009 crore. Cyclone Nivar compensation is also being credited on November 29.
The State Government has set up 10,641 Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBKs) at Village Secretariat level and appointed 10,500 technically qualified staff. RBKs are multidimensional centres through which farmers will get all the services of agriculture and allied sectors from seed and feed to marketing and beyond. A majority of the feeders in the state have been upgraded and made available from this Kharif season to provide 9 hours quality free power to farmers during day time by spending Rs 1,700 crore. This would be helpful to 18.3 lakh agriculture borewells working in the state. The annual expenditure for free power is worked out at Rs 7,065 crore.
‘YSR Free Crop Insurance’ scheme would provide support to the farmers’ at all hard times without levying any burden of premium on farmers. The government was committed to safeguarding the farmers’ interests and thus provided ₹13,101 crore under YSR Rythu Bharosa-PM Kisan by giving ₹13,500 every year to 51.59 lakh farmers. The beneficiaries include tenant farmers and those cultivating the forest lands, he said, adding, he believed that the State would be better if the farmer was happy and doing well. The State Government had spent ₹61,400 crore towards farmers’ welfare in the last 18 months.
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