The Indian Government has instituted a series of transformative schemes over the last four years. These schemes, tailored to augment farmers’ income and overall wellbeing, have demonstrated encouraging results, underscoring the efficacy of their implementation. A press release on these schemes was issued on 1st August, 2023.
As part of the “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav,” the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has unveiled a compilation of success stories from a vast array of farmers. This compilation features 75,000 farmers whose incomes have surged more than two-fold, serving as a testament to the positive impact of government initiatives.
The government’s commitment to bolstering agriculture and the livelihoods of farmers is evidenced by the comprehensive spectrum of central sector and centrally sponsored schemes it has rolled out. Despite the wide-ranging benefits, the government clarifies that there are no immediate plans to introduce a separate policy for smaller farmers.
Outlined in the annexure are details of five major schemes implemented in the past four years, each bearing significant import for farmers’ welfare:
- The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN): Initiated in December 2018, this scheme aims to provide income support to all landholding farmers across India. An annual payment of ₹6,000 is disbursed directly into the bank accounts of eligible farmers in three 4-monthly installments, easing their financial obligations related to agriculture, allied activities, and domestic needs.
- Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs): Launched in 2020, this scheme propels the establishment of Farmer Producer Organizations through Implementing Agencies. These FPOs receive professional handholding support for five years, including business plan execution and marketing strategies, thereby strengthening market linkages and sustainability.
- Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF): In a bid to bridge infrastructure gaps and spur investments, the government launched the Agri Infra Fund under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. This fund facilitates medium to long-term debt financing for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and credit guarantee support.
- National Mission on Edible Oil-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP): Aiming to promote oil palm cultivation and achieve self-sufficiency in edible oils, this centrally sponsored scheme places special emphasis on North-Eastern States and the A&N Islands. The mission envisages adding 6.5 lakh hectares under oil palm plantation over the next five years.
- National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM): Reflecting the significance of beekeeping, this Central Sector Scheme seeks to promote scientific beekeeping and catalyze the “Sweet Revolution.” Launched under the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, it contributes to the overall development of beekeeping.