263 lakh ton of subsidised fertilisers provided to Punjab farmers in last 6 years: Govt data

New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) As the farmers’ protest continues in Punjab, official figures showed that the Central government provided substantial aid to the farmers in the state in the last six years.

More than 400 lakh ton of subsidised fertilisers were made available to farmers in Punjab and Haryana by the Centre in the last six years, the data showed.

According to the data, Punjab has received substantial aid from the Central government, with key initiatives aimed at bolstering the state’s agricultural sector which include fertiliser subsidies, infrastructure development, direct financial assistance and mechanisms to enhance agricultural mechanisation and residue management.

Additionally, the procurement of essential crops such as paddy and wheat at Minimum Support Price (MSP) has seen significant increase, ensuring fair remuneration for farmers and stabilising agricultural markets.

In the last six years (upto January 2024), 62 lakh farmers in Punjab received 263 lakh ton of subsidised fertilisers with total subsidy of nearly Rs 55,154 crore, the data showed.

Under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund scheme, since its launch in 2020, 9,775 projects have been sanctioned and a loan amount of Rs 2,740 crore has been disbursed in Punjab which attracted investments worth Rs 4,586 crore.

Similarly, under the PM KISAN scheme, Rs 4,758.37 crore has been disbursed to 23,36,836 beneficiaries so far. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maandhan Yojana (PMKMY), since its inception in 2019, has seen 14,604 farmers’ registration in the state.

Since inception in 2014-15, the Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM) scheme has released Rs 102.68 crore, distributed 12,666 number of machines to individual farmers and established 1,256 number of custom hiring centres/hi-tech hubs/farm machinery banks in the state.

During the period from 2018-19 to 2023-24, the funds amounting to Rs 1,531.45 crore have been released, 1,37,407 machines were distributed to individual farmers and 25,417 number of custom hiring centres established in the state, the official figures showed.

“Since 2014-15, Rs 240.55 crore has been released to the state under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), brought an additional area of 19152 hectare and three Centre of Excellence (CoE) sanctioned under Indo-Israel Action Plan and two CoE sanctioned under Indo-Dutch Cooperation,” the data showed.

Also, according to the data, the number of crop loan accounts has increased from 28.72 lakh in 2018-19 to 37 lakh in 2022-23 at a CAGR of 6.54.

“During the same period, the crop loan amount disbursed increased from 54,022.87 to 66,833.51 crore at a CAGR of 5.46 per cent. Also, the total agricultural loan accounts increased from 34.78 to 43.92 lakh during the same period with a CAGR of 6.01 per cent. The total agricultural loan amount increased from Rs 77,456.45 to Rs.90,798.48 crore with a CAGR of 4.05 per cent,” the data showed.

Meanwhile over the past six years, a staggering 188.19 lakh ton of subsidised fertilisers has been also provided to the farmers in Haryana, with a total subsidy amounting to nearly Rs 40,058 crore.

In a bid to directly assist farmers, Rs 5,058.38 crore has been disbursed to 19,74,612 beneficiaries in Haryana, providing crucial financial relief to enhance agricultural operations.

“Since 2016, claims worth Rs 8,138 crore have been paid to the state farmers under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY), significantly mitigating risks associated with crop loss due to unforeseen circumstances. With 2,374 projects sanctioned and a loan amount of Rs 2,000 crore have been disbursed under Agriculture Infrastructure fund,” the official figures noted.

As per government officials, the initiative of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund has attracted investments worth Rs 3,750 crore, fostering the development of essential agricultural infrastructure.

Data further showed that since the inception of the SMAM in Haryana, Rs 258.14 crore has been released, facilitating the distribution of 24,870 machines and establishing 2,313 custom hiring centres enhancing mechanisation in farming practices.

The allocation of funds amounting to Rs 1,006.71 crore has facilitated the distribution of 89,770 machines and the establishment of 6,775 custom hiring centres, promoting sustainable farming practices under Crop Residue Management (CRM) scheme, the official figures showed.



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