Agriculture is called the backbone of our nation’s economy, with more than 50% of the Indian population depending on agriculture-based livelihood and subsequently crop yields for generating income. Yet a sad reality remains a large number of farmers suicides are still being recorded in the country.
Here, we look through some schemes that have been put forth by the government with farmer aid in mind:
Adopting comprehensive soil health management practices can help make agriculture sustainable and productive. Such practices include the conservation of natural resources and nutrients of the soil, optimizing the usage of water, increasing the usage of organic manures and bio-fertilizers and strengthening of soil. For this, to monitor over the agriculture practices and aid farmers, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers welfare under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, has been giving Soil Health Cards(SHC) for qualified farmers. Under this scheme, the SHC holder gets soil nutrient status and advice on the dosage of fertilizers and required soil amendments. This empowers farmers to apply best practices and to ensure soil health in the long run. One can register for SHC here: register here.
Cultivating produce is just one part of the process of agriculture. The marketing and selling of agricultural produce for a better price decide the level of income each a party can make. At the same time, the lack of uniformity and transparency between buyers and sellers has resulted in wastage for farmers and small agribusiness owners. To address these issues, eNAM (National Agriculture Market) scheme has been introduced by Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) under the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare and Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India. This scheme provides a one-stop digital trading portal for all farmers. It can be accessed here.
Agriculture and it’s allied working sectors are one of the most important factors contributing to the growth of Indian Economy and livelihoods. Due to the rising population and disruptive environment changes, there has been a deficit in food availability, increasing demand and price of commodities and this has been a challenge for those living in extreme poverty to have proper meals each day.
In order to combat this challenge, the government has taken some steps to adopt a two-fold strategy to bridge the demand-supply gap. First strategy was to expand the area, and the second was to bridge the productivity gap between the potential and existing yield of food crops. As a result, NFSM aims to help and rescale the agricultural activities as well as support the farmers with crop & soil management, yield and harvesting of their grains.
With the help of NABARD, NFSM has been adopted by the states parallelly along with RKVY (Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna), NHM (National Health Mission) and other sub schemes to support grains and pulses growth and support farmers with smoother and more accessible facilities.
With the motto “One nation, One scheme”, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana charters different features to aid farmers. The PMFBY provides insurance coverage at a minimal rate of 2% as well as financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of notified crops as a result of natural calamities, pests & diseases.
All the farmers growing notified crops are eligible for the scheme. The main objective of the scheme is to protect the interest of the farmers in agriculture, stabilise the farmers’ income as well as encourage farmers to adopt new and modern age agricultural practices. These practices can not only yield greater crop harvests but also ease the flow of agricultural sector.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) is a central government scheme that provides income support to the farmers on a quarterly basis for their assistance. The target of this scheme is to strengthen the income and basic needs of the farmers in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, corresponding with their agricultural costs and income.
Under the Scheme, income support of Rs.6000/- per year is provided to all eligible farmers (who pre-owns a piece of land beside the exclusion category) across the country in three equal instalments of Rs.2000/- for 4 months. After registering under this scheme, the beneficiary can expect the money to be directly transferred to their bank account. Registration can be done here.