The benefits of Central schemes for agriculture sector should reach the correct farmers. Although funds are not a constraint, it is the implementation of the scheme which should be proper, addressing the conference of lieutenant governors and administrators of all union territories, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Wednesday.
Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor, Jammu & Kashmir and Admiral DK Joshi, Lieutenant Governor, Andaman and Nicobar Islands participated in the discussion and gave an overview of the implementation of various schemes of the Central government in their respective UTs. Officials and delegates of other UTs also participated in the discussions.
During the conference, presentations were given to all UTs by the senior officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on Central schemes of the Union government for the benefit of farmers. The overall beneficiary payment status and the self-registration status under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-Kisan) was explained. To ensure higher coverage and transfer of benefits to eligible beneficiaries, UTs were asked to take the following actions; up-gradation of the beneficiary database, village wise beneficiary list to be displayed in gram panchayat for social audit, digital land records to be integrated with PM-Kisan database, physical verification to be completed in a stipulated time, pending grievance report to be resolved on a priority basis and recovery from ineligible and IT payee farmers to be done.
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The PM Kisan Maandhan Yojana was explained and the present status of the beneficiaries discussed with the UTs. Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) and its modifications were explained. Eligible activities under the AIF were explained to UTs. The presentation showcased investment opportunities of around Rs.1700 crore and employment generation opportunities of over 20,000 in seven UTs under activities like dry storage, pack-house, cold storage, ripening chambers, reefer vehicles, smart and precision farming among other activities related to AIF.
During the meeting, UTs were asked to extend all the required assistance to farmers and banks to cover all eligible farmers to schedule camps at bank branches level for receiving application form for Kisan Credit Card (KCC), to hold a meeting of the gram sabha to inform the farmers about the drive and to conduct review meeting on regular basis. UT wise implementation status of the PM-Fasal Bima Yojana was discussed. The NMEO-OP, Oil Palm mission and oil palm strategy were also discussed with emphasis on Andaman & Nicobar. Possibilities for oilseeds crop in two UTs (J&K &Ladakh) were also highlighted. The presentation also explained the sub-mission on seeds and planting materials (SMSP). Presentations were also made on Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture and schemes implemented by Marketing Division.
Emphasising on KCC drive, the agriculture minister said that the Kisan Credit Card cover had been provided to farmers even under the shadow of Covid-19. The government had been running a campaign for saturation of KCC to farmers since February 2020 to cover all left-over farmers with a special focus on PM-Kisan beneficiaries. Tomar said that a loan target of Rs 16 lakh crore had been set for the current year and around 14 lakh crore had already been given to the farmers through KCC.
The minister said that the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund would help the farmers to secure loans easily for the development of infrastructure at the farm-gate. This would help the small farmers in the storage and protection of their crops.
Tomar said that under the Digital Agriculture Mission, the database of 5.5 crore farmers had been prepared and it would reach 8 crore by December. He urged the union territories for cooperation in this. Tomar said that there is a lot of potential in the union territories for the cultivation of high-value crops and oil palm as per global standards.
Among those who attended the conference were Kailash Choudhary, MoS Agriculture; Shobha Karandlaje, MoS Agriculture; Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, MoAFW along with senior officials of the MoAFW and all UTs and progressive farmers.