Rs 12,000 crore for crop investment, prepaid cards for Telangana farmers

By Times Of India on 27 Feb 2018 | read
HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday announced that, for the first time, Rs 12,000 crore would be allocated exclusive for the agriculture budget, to be presented in the Assembly in Telangana, for implementation of its much-talked about Farmers Investment Support Scheme (FISS),
This 12,000 crore would be distributed among 1.42 crore farmers doing agriculture in about 1.65 crore acres in Telangana. In the first phase, cheques for Rs 4,000 would be distributed to each farmer from mid-May. The government will give pre-paid cards (pre-loaded bank cards) to the farmers in second phase to commence in November.

"Farmers can just swipe and avail their money through pre-paid cards," the chief minister said while addressing the regional conference of the newly constituted mandal and district level farmers' coordination committees from 13 districts of southern Telangana.

The FISS would be extended even to horticulture and assigned lands. There are about 20 lakh acres of assigned land that is free from all sorts of litigation and another two lakh acre of assigned land involved in litigations.

CM KCR said agriculture is a way of life and that it should not be considered a commercial activity. He attributed the many years of distress and despair, and large numbers of suicides triggered by poor financial conditions, to decades of neglect and discrimination by successive governments in the undivided state. He said the fortunes of the farmers would be revived by the farmers themselves.

"Every seed produced by a farmer will get MSP(minimum support price). The farmers will sell their agriculture produce at MSP to the traders at the market yards. If they don't get MSP, the agriculture coordination committees headed by MP Gutta Sukhender Reddy as its president at the State level will buy it at MSP. Farmers will not lose but gain," CM KCR said.

The investment assistance would be disbursed through bearer cheques for kharif and for yasangi crops, and the farmers would be given pre-loaded bank cards.

"Neither CM KCR nor the agriculture minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy can do much. The farmers coordination committees should shoulder greater responsibilities. The members of the committee will be given training at the Telangana State Institute of Rural Development on their responsibilities and the approach in resolving problems of farmers," he said.

CM KCR announced that he would be giving his share of the investment to support the farmers, and appealed to all the rich farmers to "give it up" too. There are a large number of farmers who are well-off and from wealthier sections of society in Telangana and the money from this "give it up" would be again used for development of farmers and agriculture.

CM KCR appealed to all the members of farmer coordination committees and the farmers to take a vow to transform entire agriculture activity in Telangana on the lines of Ankapur village in Nizamabad district, where the local farmers enjoy good profits and higher revenue outputs, by adopting latest technologies and doing planned agriculture activity. Owing to the new innovations and improved profits, Ankapur has earned the nickname "mini-US" among the farmers.