New Delhi: There are many areas in the country where the debt-ridden farmers continue to commit suicides. Though the Opposition parties target Modi government over the issue, but the Centre maintains that the dilapidated condition of the farmers was ‘handiwork’ of previous governments and it was not possible to change the fortunes of the farmers overnight. However, after assuming the power in 2014, Modi government started implementing its policies for the agriculture sector.
Modi came up with some unique steps, like- soil health card, low-cost organic farming, national agricultural market, horticulture development, agroforestry, beekeeping, dairy, fish and egg production. Prime Minister’s Fasal Bima Yojana has the lowest premium and covers various risks. The agriculture ministry made district-wise contingency action plans and increasing the relief funds for the farmers affected by drought and hailstorm. The government also focused on agricultural education, research and extension.
After three years, it seems that the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance ( NDA) government’s initiatives to boost the farming sector have started bearing fruits.
Enthused by the positive results, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is working to double farmers’ income by 2022, a goal set by Prime Minister Modi.
The Ministry of Agriculture records show that the annual growth rate of agriculture and allied sectors have been 4.4 per cent this year and the food grain production during the year 2016-17 has broken all the previous records. According to 3rd advance estimate for 2016-17, the total food grain production is estimated to be 273.38 million tonnes which are 8.67 percent higher than that of the year 2015-16.
For pulses, the production during 2016-17 is expected to be 22.40 million tonnes which will be a record production till date and is higher than that of the year 2015-16 by 37 per cent.
As on 16.05.2017, 725 lakh soil health cards have been distributed to the farmers.
Under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, a record coverage of 8 lakh 40 thousand hectares has been brought under micro irrigation during the year 2016-17.
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh says that this result is the outcome of the increased fund allotment for the agriculture sector by Modi government and the proper utilisation of funds by the agriculture ministry.
As per the agriculture ministry, during the year 2011-12 budgetary allocation was Rs.24, 526 crores and the amount spent was just Rs.23, 290 crores. Similarly, in the year 2012-13 budgetary allocation was Rs.28, 284 crores and the amount spent was Rs.24, 630 crores. In the year 2013-14, the budgetary allocation was Rs.30, 224 crore and the amount spent was Rs.25, 896.
“On the other hand, under Modi government, the agriculture ministry is spending more than the budgetary allocation for the welfare of the farmers. For instance, in the year 2016-17, the budgetary allocation was Rs.45,035 crore, but it was increased to Rs. 57,503 crore in the revised budget.”
Keeping the welfare of the agriculture sector and farmers in mind, Modi government is increasing the budget every year.
For example, the total budget for the welfare of the agriculture sector during the UPA government’s four years – 2010-11 to 2013-14 – was Rs.1,04,337 crore, while the present government has allocated Rs.1,64,415 crore during the period of 2014-15 to 2017-18, which is 57.58 percent more.
Here is the Comparison of UPA (2011-14) and Modi Governments’ three-year rule (2014-17) in Agri Sector:
*. Under the National Agriculture Insurance Scheme, six crore farmers got insurance for the Kharif season during three years of 2011-14. Among them, there was only 77 lakh non-loanee farmers. While in 2014-17, 9 crores 47 lakh farmers were insured for the Kharif season, of which 2 crores 61 lakh are non-loanee farmers.
*The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has increased the number of non- loanee farmers by 238.96%. And in the last three years, the number of non-loanee farmers increased by 128.50% in Rabi Crops compared to the preceding three years.
* Milk production was 398.01 million tonnes during the years 2011-14 which increased to 465.5 million tonnes during the year 2014-17. The three-year growth rate has been 16.9%.
* Egg production was 210.93 billion during the years 2011-14 which increased to 248.73 billion during the year 2014-17. The three-year growth rate has been 17.92%.
*. Fish production was 272.88 lakh tonnes during the years 2011-14 which increased to 327.74 lakh tonnes during the year 2014-17. The three-year growth rate has been 20.1%.
*. 223 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) were formed during 2011-14, whereas 383 FPOs were formed during 2014-17.
*. During 2007-14, 6.7 lakh Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) were constituted with an assistance of Rs 6,630 crore whereas during just three years of 2014-17, 15.85 lakh JLGs have been constituted with an assistance of Rs. 16,268 crore.
*. Rs. 5.94 crore was spent on beekeeping during 2011-14. Whereas, Rs. 18.14 crore was spent on beekeeping during 2014-17. This is an increase of 205 percent.
*. States were sanctioned Rs. 33,580 crore from State Disaster Relief Fund during 5 years of UPA government. Whereas, Modi Government has allocated Rs. 61,620 crore for 5 years.
*. During 2011-12 to 2013-14 i.e. 3 years of UPA Government, states were granted Rs. 9,099 crore from National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF). Whereas, during 2014-15 to 2016-17 i.e. 3 years of Modi Government, states have been granted Rs. 29,194 crores from NDRF. Assistance for Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry is under consideration.