The Chhattisgarh Government has embarked on an ‘Organic Farming Mission’ on an experimental basis in five districts of the State namely Kanker, Koriya, Raigarh, Raipur and Dantewada, officials said.
The National Agriculture Development Scheme is being implemented since year 2007-08 with objectives of expanding cultivation area of fruits, vegetables and spice crops and supplying advanced high-quality seeds to farmers.
Earlier under Shakhambari Scheme, subsidy was provided for only electricity and diesel based irrigation pumps but now farmers using petrol based irrigation pumps are also eligible for availing subsidy under this scheme, they stated.
The Government had been providing free seeds and fertilizers to the tribal families holding forest rights certificates.The arrangements for free distribution of seeds and fertilisers have also been made. Agriculture Service Centres have been established in every development block of the State from where the farmers are provided agricultural equipments on rent. Soon Soil Quality Card Distribution Scheme will also be started to inform the farmers about quality and type of soil in their farms.
Under this scheme, soil quality cards will be distributed to all 37 lakh farmers of state in coming five years. The State Government’s ‘Kisaan Samriddhi Yojana’ has also proved to be a boon for farmers. Under this scheme, farmers are provided section-wise grant for tube-well digging. More than 75,000 farmers have been benefited under the scheme. State Government is operating number of other schemes, which have proved extremely beneficial for the farmers.
Besides cultivation, animal husbandry and fishery are the additional source of income for farmers. Hence, state government has included animal husbandry and fishery under its all-round agricultural development policy.
With the help of government schemes, large number of farmers has taken up employment-oriented activities to march ahead on the path of progress. To encourage farmers practicing traditional animal husbandry, state government started the scheme of providing loan up to Rs 1 lakh at one per cent interest rate from the previous year.This year, the loan amount has been increased to Rs 2 lakh, officials stated. One of the significant decisions in farmers’ interest taken by State government is the zero-interest agricultural loan scheme, which has been implemented in the current financial year.
Under this scheme, State Government has provided interest-free agricultural loans worth Rs2438 crores in Kharif 2014 to more than 10.40 lakh farmers in the State, who are members of Primary Agricultural Credit Cooperative Societies. Distribution of interest-free loans under the scheme for Rabi 2014 has also been started. In the current financial year 2014-15, budget provision of Rs 8,459 crores has been included for agriculture and agro-based sectors.
In 2012, the State Government had launched the ‘Akshay Bhoomi Yojna’ with the commemoration of the anniversary of noted thinker late Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.The Organic Farming initiative was launched through the Agriculture Department .
Under the ‘Akshay Bhumi Yojna’ the farmers are provided necessary elements to support organic farming such as Gobar (Cow Dung), Go Mutra (Cow’s urine), Ghurwa Khad, Nadep Compost, Vermi Compost, Rajyobiyum, P.S.B. Ajectovector, Anjola, Neel Harit Card.
Moreover, at the time of State formation, only 72,000 farmers in Chhattisgarh had electricity connection for their irrigation pumps. But in last one decade, a special campaign for electrification of irrigation pumps was launched. As a result, the number of electrified irrigation pumps has increased to nearly 3.40 lakh.
Chhattisgarh has attained self reliance in terms of electricity production and has also become the first state of the country to achieve zero-power cut status. Farmers in Chhattisgarh are provided free electricity supply of 7500 unit per year for their agricultural pumps of 5 horse power. Farmers are also provided subsidy of Rs 75,000 for electrification of irrigation pumps. Moreover, they are given redemption in meter fare, fixed charges and power cess also, officials stated.
As a positive effect of agricultural development schemes, increase of 30 per cent in yield of cereals, increase of 69 per cent in production of oilseed crops and hike of 10 per cent in cultivation of pulses has been recorded in Chhattisgarh. The State has been awarded twice with prestigious Krishi Karman Award by the Central government. To empower the farmers of the State with advanced technology, as many as 300 agriculture equipment service centres have been established in Chhattisgarh.
Rural youth are provided subsidy for opening these state-funded Agriculture Equipment Service Centers. Under Forest Right Certification Act 2006, provision of supplying free certified seeds to 3.40 lakh forest right certificate holder farmers has been included, for which budget allotment of Rs 20 crore has been made in year 2014-15.
Moreover, in Dantewada district of Bastar, Bio farming has altered the direction and way of 2,000-year-old traditional agricultural practices of farmers residing in villages such as Bhusaras, Hiranaar and Surnaar of Dantewada district of Bastar region.
Notes: 1 Lakh = 100,000
1 Crore = 10 million
Source: The Pioneer