Odisha Govt Taking Ample Steps For Empowering Farmers, Suicide For Crop Loss & Loan Reasons Is Untrue: Minister

Bhubaneswar: In response to the Adjournment Motion titled “Suicide by Farmers in the State, Government Fails to Check” moved by Congress Legislature Party Leader Narasingha Mishra, Odisha Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo today argued in the Assembly that the allegation is not based on truth.

The Minister apprised the House that the State Government has already implemented lots of welfare schemes for the farmers so that they get empowered and improve in various fields as well as do not take any wrong step at the time any crisis.

Listing out the details on the measures being taken, the Odisha Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment Minister informed the members of the Assembly:

1)   A Special Agriculture Budget is being presented by State Government since 2013-14.While the budgetary provision was Rs 7,161.84 crore in 2013-14, it has been enhanced to Rs 20,714 crore in 2019-20. Pertinent to note that, special agriculture budget is being presented by a very few States in the country and Odisha is one among the few States for presenting it.

2)   In order to take prompt action and expedite agricultural growth rate, the State Government has set up a Special Agriculture Cabinet since 2016-17.

3)   An Agriculture Policy was implemented in 2008 and it was further amended in 2013. Again efforts are on to make Agriculture Policy-2019 much more effective and strengthened.

4)   Zero Percentage interest for bank loan upto Rs 1 lakh borrowed and paid off on time. Decision has been taken to lend loan to more and more farmers, both registered and unregistered. For the unregistered share-croppers Joint Liability Group will be formed.

5)   Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is being implemented for climatic crisis and natural calamity.

6)   State Government has implemented Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) Yojana and the eligible farmers are being provided financial assistance since December 2018. Every small and marginal farmers are being provided with Rs 5000 assistance twice for Kharif and Rabi crop season and the money is being remitted directly to the beneficiary’s bank account.

The farmers could purchase seed, fertilizer, pesticide, etc and can even pay wages to the agriculture labourers.

Similarly, the landless farmers’ families are also provided with livelihood assistance for goat-rearing, egg-laying poultry, dual use birds rearing, duck farming, purchasing fishing implements, mushroom farming, honeybee farming, dairy, tussar farming, etc. Each beneficiary family is provided Rs 12,500 assistance in three instalments.  

7)   The farmers are now included under the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) in which the insured male member is entitled to healthcare benefits upto Rs 4 lakh while the female member reap the benefits upto Rs 9 lakh.

8)   Adequate steps being taken to keep a tab on pest attacks on crop.

The Minister also listed out 11 other measures for the welfare of the farmers.

He concluded that the hard labour of the farmers of Odisha has borne fruit for which the State has bagged ‘Krushi Karman Award’ five times from the Centre in the last six years.