Bhagalpur farmers to link Aadhaar numbers for buying fertilizers

By Times Of India on 18 Jan 2018
BHAGALPUR: The district agriculture department has decided to link Aadhaar number with the point of sale (POS) machines at the distribution centres in the region to check black marketeering in fertilizers meant for the needy farmers.
In accordance to the unique system, christened as direct transfer of benefits (DBT) to the farmers, the department has asked the farmers and agriculturists in the region to get their Aadhaar numbers registered at their POS centres so that they don't have to face any difficulty in getting subsidized fertilizers.

Altogether 460 POS machines have been installed at the fertilizers-selling centres in the district and efforts have been made to get the Aadhaar numbers of the farmers registered with the POS machines in order to avoid any difficulty in selling-buying process of the fertilizers.

Sources at district agriculture department said a POS machine will register the details of the buyer, seller, product purchased, the Aadhaar number of the farmer and other details while buying and selling of fertilizers. Plan is afoot to incorporate the condition of soil and the requirement of fertilizers besides land ownership statistics, said sources, adding the purchase history of farmers can be used in future for policymaking in agriculture sector.

It was detected that major diversion of subsidized urea (a fertilizer mostly used by farmers) for industrial purposes, instead of agriculture, was being made, said sources adding that the diversion of urea, including its black marketeering could be prevented with Aadhaar linking at POS.

District agriculture officer (DAO) Arvind Kumar Jha told this newspaper that Aadhaar linking at POS would ensure the authenticity of the buyer as it will be digitally validated. "It will also ensure that the farmers do not have to pay higher price to buy fertilizers," he said and added that it would largely check the black marketeering in urea and other fertilizers.

"It will also help in tracking the stock of the seller and the sale. The steps are towards preventing diversion of fertilizers meant for needy farmers. The farmers will not only get genuine fertilizers but also at regulated price. That will bring down their input price eventually," the DAO added.