Ahead of Diwali and the assembly election in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the Centre will transfer more than ₹16,000 crore to over eight crore farmers as the 12th instalment under the flagship PM-KISAN scheme, which was due in August. The government will also launch the Bharat Urea bag under the ‘One Nation One Fertiliser’ scheme.
At a two-day event -- PM Kisan Samman Sammelan 2022-- starting October 17, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will facilitate the transfer of funds under Direct Benefit Transfer, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said Saturday. The prime minister will also inaugurate 600 PM Kisan Samruddhi Kendras (PM-KSKs) being set up by fertiliser companies under the initiative department of fertilisers.
While the Election Commission has already announced the poll schedule for Himachal Pradesh, the dates for Gujarat will also be out soon. While there are 66.21 lakh beneficiaries in Gujarat, the number of such farmers in Himachal Pradesh is 9.95 lakh under PM-Kisan scheme, according to the official data.
After the inauguration, Modi will address farmers, agri start-ups, researchers, government officials, bankers and other stakeholders, Tomar said. Aimed at bringing farmers and agri start-ups on the same platform, Tomar said over one crore farmers would virtually join the event, connecting 732 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), 150 ICAR’s institutes and state agriculture universities, 50,000 Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACs) and 2 lakh Community Service Centres (CSCs), he added.
The PM-KISAN scheme, launched in February 2019, allows land-owning eligible farmer families to receive ₹6,000 per year in three equal instalments of ₹ 2,000 each, every four months – April-July, August-November and December-March. The instalment is transferred directly to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts. Through the last 11 instalments, farmers have received over ₹2 lakh crore so far under PM-KISAN. Out of this, as ₹1.6 lakh crore were transferred during the Covid pandemic, Tomar said.
The One Nation One Fertilizer (ONOF) plan, supposed to be rolled out on October 2, will formally be launched by Modi on October 17. The prime minister will be launching Bharat urea bags during the event. The Centre has made it mandatory for fertiliser companies to market their goods under one brand, “Bharat”. From now onwards, fertilisers will be sold only as “Bharat Urea, Bharat DAP, Bharat MOP and Bharat NPK to reduce their criss-cross movement.
The Centre wants to convert 3.3 lakh fertiliser retail shops in the country, owned either by co-operatives or private individuals as dealers of companies, into a one-stop shop in a phased manner to provide agri-inputs (fertilisers, seeds and implements), soil testing facilities, information on schemes. In the pilot phase, at least one retail shop at each district level will be converted to model PM-KSK for which 600 are ready to become operational. The government had mandated each company to convert at least 20 shops in different locations, sources said.
Modi will also inaugurate an ‘Agri Startup Conclave and Exhibition’ in which about 300 start-ups (out of 1,500 expected) will showcase their innovation in precision farming, post-harvest & value-added solutions, waste to wealth, mechanisation, supply chain management and argi-logistic on the first day.
To promote agri start-ups in the country, the Agriculture Ministry launched the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana - Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied Sector Rejuvenation (RKVY-RAFTAAR) in 2017 after rebranding the previous RKVY scheme. Under this, the Centre releases up to ₹5 lakh for pre-seed stage start-ups and ₹25 lakh for seed-stage start-ups.