10 Dec 2013

Steps to Support Small & Marginal Farmers

Small & Marginal Farmers
As per Agriculture Census 2010-11, land holdings of less than two hectare, cultivated by small and marginal farmers (many of whom are below poverty line), constitute about 85% of total land holdings in India. 

Considering the importance of this segment in agriculture sector, due attention has been given to it in formulation and implementation of various schemes/programmes of the Government. 

Government is taking all possible steps for the welfare of the farming community and to make agriculture sector an attraction vocation. 

Plan outlay of Centre for Agriculture for XII Plan period has been substantially increased to Rs.1,34,746 crore as against Rs.61,527.90 crore during XI Plan period. 

The Department of Agriculture & Cooperation has budget provision of Rs.21,609 crore for the year 2013-14.

 During the year 2011-12 and 2012-13, the budget provisions were Rs.17,122 crore and Rs.20208 crore, respectively. 

Important schemes/programmes being implemented for the welfare of farmers, and particularly the small and marginal ones, are Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, National Food Security Mission, Integrated Scheme for Farmers’ Income Security (including covering risks through insurance cover), Price Support Scheme (PSS), Market Intervention Scheme (MIS), National Horticulture Mission, Funding of Farmer Producer’s Organisations, Self Help Groups of Small & Marginal Farmers for achieving benefits of economies of scale, Augmentation of Extension Services, Crop diversification etc.

Small and marginal farmers are especially encouraged to form aggregates to avail the benefits of economies of scale in sourcing the inputs and for marketing their produce. Farmers are being provided inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, farm machinery and implements etc. at subsidized rates. 

Farmers are also provided Institutional Credit at concessional interest rate of 4% on farm loans provided they repay their loan in time. 

Government has approved, in principle, the restructuring of the schemes/programmes into five Missions, five Centrally Sponsored Schemes and one State plan Scheme for implementation from the year 2014-15 in order to have focused approach and to avoid overlap. 

This information was given today by Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, Shri Tariq Anwar in a written reply to Rajya Sabha questions. 

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