Modi to announce PM-KISAN agricultural scheme amid rural distress

  • The scheme targets the stagnating agriculture sector. While approximately 50% of the labour force is employed in agriculture, the actual contribution of this sector to the GDP is only 18-19%.

Amrita Binepal
Published17 Jun 2024, 10:24 PM IST
Agrarian distress is compounded by climate fluctuations, a lack of infrastructure, underemployment, land pressure, and poverty.
Agrarian distress is compounded by climate fluctuations, a lack of infrastructure, underemployment, land pressure, and poverty. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will announce the latest instalment of the PM-KISAN scheme for agriculture on Tuesday in his Varanasi constituency, as per an official statement.

The 17th instalment will involve the provision of projected benefits of over Rs. 20,000 crore to over 92 million farmers and initiate Krishi Sakhi women's self-help groups through the distribution of certificates to over 30,000 such SHGs working as agricultural para-extension workers.

The scheme targets the stagnating agriculture sector. While approximately 50% of the labour force is employed in agriculture, the actual contribution of this sector to the GDP is only 18-19%.

Agrarian distress is compounded by climate fluctuations, a lack of infrastructure, underemployment, land pressure, and poverty. At the same time, in addition to providing employment for a vast proportion of the Indian population (over 70% of rural households are dependent primarily on agricultural income), the sector is also important for food security.

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Tuesday's announcement will be made in the presence of Yogi Adityanath, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the newly appointed Union agriculture minister and  farmers from agricultural cooperatives, Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and Common Service Centres. 

An event directed at farmers will be held, attended by several Union ministers and farmers, at 50 selected KVKs. The event will involve information sessions on climate-resilient agriculture, responsible agricultural practices, technological advancements in the field, and the technical/logistical aspects of the PM-KISAN scheme. 

Certificates will further be distributed among local trained Krishi Sakhis (certified Krishi Sakhis now total over 34,000 out of 70,000), trained especially as agricultural para-extension workers (for guiding and supporting farmers in varied agricultural practices) considering their trusted community status. 

The 17th instalment builds upon the previous efforts of the PM-KISAN scheme, launched in 2019. 

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The initial scheme was an attempt at supporting the financial requirements of landholding farmers (excluding those of higher-income status). The scheme has thus far involved the transfer of Rs. 6,000 annually in three equal instalments over the course of the year through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to farmers and their families. 

So far, it has involved the disbursement of over 3.04 trillion to over 110 million farmers. With the initiation of the 17th instalment, the projected amount distributed to farmers will go past the 3.2-trillion mark. The scheme, however, has thus far been unable to combat rising rural distress, evidenced through decreasing private consumption, weak agricultural growth rates, growing food inflation, as well as high unemployment. 

The provision of additional funding for farmers in this sense is an important initiative for job creation and public investment.

Read more: Population decline is not a problem but hungry kids are

The updated scheme is particularly important for the BJP’s revamped political strategy considering the comparative decline in the strength of farmers as a support base for the ruling party following farmers’ protests. This is evident from the BJP’s declining share of seats in key Indian farm belt (Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, and so on). 

 

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First Published:17 Jun 2024, 10:24 PM IST
HomeEconomyModi to announce PM-KISAN agricultural scheme amid rural distress

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