Agri Ministry gives nod to subsidized loans worth Rs 3,971.31 crore for micro-irrigation projects

The Union Agriculture Ministry has given nod for subsidised loans worth Rs 3,971.31 crore for implementing micro-irrigation projects, and a maximum loan of Rs. 1357.93 crore has been approved for Tamil Nadu.  

The interest subvented loans are being offered under Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) created with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for implementing micro-irrigation projects. 

Micro Irrigation Fund with a corpus of Rs. 5000 crores created with NABARD was operationalized in 2019-20. Steering Committee of MIF has approved projects for a loan of Rs.  3971.31 crore comprising Rs. 764.13 crore for Gujarat, Rs. 1357.93 crore for Tamil Nadu, Rs. 616.13 crore for Andhra Pradesh, Rs. 276.55 crore for West Bengal, Rs.790.94 crore for Haryana Rs. 150.00 crore for Punjab and Rs. 15.63 crore for Uttarakhand.

However, NABARD has so far released a loan of Rs 659.70 crore to Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. Thereby a total amount of Rs. 1754.60 crore has been released so far, comprising Rs.  616.13 crore to   Andhra Pradesh, Rs. 937.47 crore to Tamil Nadu, Rs. 21.57 crore to Haryana and Rs. 179.43 crore to Gujarat. 

Under the MIF, subsidised loans are provided for not only taking up special and innovative projects but also for incentivising micro-irrigation beyond the provisions available under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (Per Drop More Crop) to encourage farmers to install micro-irrigation systems. 

Har Khet ko Pani is basically “Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana” and therefore the Government of India is committed to accord high priority to water conservation and its management. To this effect, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) has been formulated with the vision of extending the coverage of irrigation ‘Har Khet ko Pani’ and improving water use efficiency ‘More crop per drop’ in a focused manner with end to end solution on source creation, distribution, management, field application and extension activities.  


ICAR working to bring Agri Education in line with the vision of National Education Policy

India is an agrarian country where half of its population still depend on agriculture as the primary source of income. Keeping this thing in mind, Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) recently announced that it has formed a six-member committee headed by Dr Tej Pratap, Vice Chancellor of the G B Pant University of Agriculture in Uttarakhand to suggest ways in which agricultural institutions can be nurtured in the spirit of the National Education Policy (NEP).

The committee is looking at providing impetus to research areas apart from making the course structure more flexible, more inter-disciplinary activity.

“Agricultural education is a state subject. Therefore, the recommendations and road map will be prepared in view of this. The aim is to bring agricultural education to a zone where it can address contemporary and future needs,” said a government official.

Moreover, the ICAR is working to bring farm education in line with the vision of the National Education Policy unveiled by the Centre. So it instructed the agriculture varsities to offer courses which is more flexible structure and these institutions will be encouraged to become more inter-disciplinary.

Deputy Director General (Education) at ICAR, Dr R C Agarwal, who is the convenor of the committee, when contacted, confirmed that the panel was looking at ways to bring agri-education in sync with the spirit of the NEP.

On the other hand, the NEP also envisages that the professional councils, such as the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) will act as Professional Standard Setting Bodies (PSSBs) and shall be member of the General Education Council (GEC) to frame expected learning outcomes for higher education.

The official also mentioned that the ICAR-Agricultural University (AU) system through its network of 74 universities offers degree courses at the undergraduate level in 11 disciplines. The PG programs in 96 disciplines and Ph.D. programs in 73 disciplines make it multi-disciplinary as desired by NEP.

Nirmala announces Rs 65,000 crore fertilizer subsidy for farmers

Just two days prior to Diwali, Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday (12 November 2020) has announced a Rs 65,000-crore fertilizer subsidy for the farmers in India as part of her stimulus package to boost the economy. 

Sitharaman said Rs 65,000 crore is being offered to ensure sufficient availability of fertilizers to the growers and to enable timely accessibility of fertilizers in the impending crop season.

14 crore farmers will be benefited

She said that the use of manure in 2016-17 was 499 MT. It is expected to increase to 673 metric tons in 2020-21. 140 million or 14 crore farmers will get benefits due to higher supply of fertilizers and subsidies.

The Finance Minister told that an additional outlay of Rs 10,000 crore will be given for Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana in the current financial year. She said this will accelerate the growth of the rural economy.

Sitharaman further told that Rs 3,000 crore will be released to EXIM Bank for the promotion of ‘Project Exports’ through lines of credits. It must be noted that EXIM Bank extends the lines of credits (LOC) on behalf of the Central government as assistance to developing nations under Indian Development & Economic Assistance Scheme (IDEAS) Scheme.

Secha Samadhan App, launched by Odisha Government for Farmers

Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik on 9 November, 2020 launched “Secha Samadhan”, a bilingual portable application for mobile phones, which will help in addressing the water and irrigation issues confronted by the farmers without visiting the concerned departments and offices. He additionally launched four more online administrations and services to determine the issue of water distribution and circulation for commercial establishments, industries and other institutions. 

With the starting of the application, farmers need not race to the workplaces of the Water Resources division and can send their complaints through photos or recordings. The farmers in return will be informed about the status of their grievances through SMS. Furthermore, quick advances will be taken to change the complaints of the farmers.

Farmers under the Biju Krushak Bikas Yojana (BKBY), can apply for community lift irrigation points through telephones, PCs or close by Jana Seva Kendras utilizing the mobile application. Essentially, the Water Resources dept. has additionally launched “Go Swift” portal through which industries can apply for water. The division has additionally dispatched the site, for appropriation of water to commercial businesses and different establishments.

The Chief Minister commented that these computerized applications will make the Water Resources division more responsible and transparent for common people. “Farmers are the biggest recipient of the Water Resources Dept. and their complaints can be settled rapidly by these applications,” he said. 

He stressed on making the general society aware of the online services and also directed the division authorities to facilitate and prepare for the computerized move under the 5T initiative. Minister of State for Water Resources Raghunandan Dash said that these administrations will satisfy the objectives of the 5T initiative other than making the organization more productive and responsible.


PM Kisan Yojana: It is mandatory for the Farmers to give these details.

Central government has recently announced to send Rs. 2000 to the bank account of farmers under its biggest agriculture scheme known as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana or PM-Kisan. Moreover, the seventh installment of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme will start from December 1. That is, after 25 days, the central government will add Rs 2000 to your account.

But however, you will be left out from availing all these benefits if you haven’t registered yet or have given incorrect information. Many farmers have been left out from availing the benefits if they do these mistakes repeatedly. Let’s know about the scheme in detail and what farmers have to keep in mind during registration to avoid any mistakes.

Farmers Need to Keep These Things in Mind

Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, farmers are given financial assistance of Rs 6000 annually. This help is given through three installments of Rs 2000 each. The beneficiary farmers involved in this scheme have to register first, only then the government transfers this money to the account under Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). In the last 23 months, the central government has given more than Rs 95 crore help directly to 11.17 crore farmers. 

Why Many Farmers Have not Received the Money

Sources in the Ministry of Agriculture say that 1.3 crore farmers have not received the money even after applying because either their record is wrong or there is no Aadhar card. Money will not be transferred if there is a spelling error in the document. 

These Details are Necessary for PM Kisan Registration

For this, one has to visit the website of PM Kisan Yojana. Farmers have to fill the online form on this website itself. This form contains some information which is mandatory to give. These include name, gender, caste, farmer type, Aadhaar number, bank branch IFSC code, bank name, bank account number and address.

It is often seen that farmers fill the wrong number due to wrong Aadhaar number or account number. In such a situation, his installment will be stopped. However, this information can be correctly re-entered online on the PM Kisan Portal itself.


PM Modi inaugurates several projects in Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated as well as laid the foundation stone of many development projects in Varanasi yesterday (9 November 2020) through video conference. Modi has launched 16 schemes worth Rs 220 crore and said that the work has already started on 14 schemes worth Rs 400 crore in Varanasi.

The projects inaugurated include infrastructure facilities for protection & conservation of cows, multipurpose seed storehouse, agriculture produce warehouse of 100 MT, upgradation of Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital Ramnagar, Sarnath Light and Sound show, sewerage related works, IPDS phase 2, Varanasi city smart lighting work, a housing complex for players in Sampurnanand Stadium, along with 105 Anganwadi Kendras & 102 Gau Ashray Kendras.

Modi said for the farmers of Varanasi and Purvanchal, many facilities ranging from storage to transport have been developed here like the center of the Milk Processing Plant, International Rice Institute, Construction of Perishable Cargo Center, etc. He said that farmers are benefiting a lot from such facilities. He also expressed happiness that for the first time in this year (2020), vegetables, fruits, and paddy from Varanasi have been exported abroad. He told a godown with a storage capacity of 100 MT launched today would expand the storage facilities for farmers in Kashi. He added that the multi-purpose Seed warehouse & dissemination Center has been launched in Jansa.

Modi said the village poor and farmers are the biggest pillars of AtmaNirbhar Bharat yojana and the biggest beneficiaries too. He said the recent Agri reforms are going to benefit the farmers directly. He also said under the Pradhan SVANidhi Yojana Mantri street vendors are given easy loans, so that they can restart their work after the pandemic.

हरियाणा सरकार ने गन्ना किसानों को दी बड़ी राहत, गन्ने के भाव ₹10 प्रति क्विंटल बढ़ाए

हरियाणा (Haryana) के मुख्यमंत्री मनोहर लाल (Chief Minister Manohar Lal) ने प्रदेश के गन्ना किसानों (Sugarcane farmers) को राहत दी है. मुख्यमंत्री ने गन्ने की फसल के दाम (Price) में प्रति क्विंटल 10 रुपये की बढ़ोत्तरी की है. साथ ही किसानों (Farmers) को कई तरह की  सहूलियतें दीं है.

मुख्यमंत्री ने रबी की फसल बुआई सीजन के लिए 7 जिलों में कृषि नलकूपों के लिए बिजली आपूर्ति को आठ घंटे से बढ़ाकर 10 घंटे कर दिया है. इसके साथ ही किसानों की मांग पर गन्ने के भाव में 10 रुपये प्रति क्विंटल बढ़ाने का निर्णय लिया है और अब ये भाव 340 रुपये प्रति क्विंटल से बढकर 350 रुपये प्रति क्विंटल हो गए हैं, जो देश में सर्वाधिक हैं. मुख्यमंत्री ने कहा कि विपक्ष का काम केवल किसानों के नाम पर दिखावे की राजनीति करना है, जबकि हमारी सरकार किसानों के हित में काम कर रही है. किसानों के हिता में जो भी काम सरकार को दिखाई देता है वह करती है.

वहीं एमबीबीएस की फीस बढ़ाने पर मुख्यमंत्री ने स्पष्ट किया कि एमबीबीएस की फीस जो पहले 60,000 रुपये प्रतिवर्ष थी, उसे बढ़ाकर 80,000 रुपये प्रतिवर्ष किया गया है. उन्होंने कहा कि 10 लाख रुपये का बॉन्ड एमबीबीएस करने वाले सरकारी मेडिकल कॉलेजों के छात्रों से भरवाया जाएगा और यह बॉन्ड सरकारी नौकरी प्राप्त करने के लिए एक प्रावधान होगा. मुख्यमंत्री ने कहा कि विपक्ष इस पर भी अफवाह फैलाने में लगा है, जो सरासर गलत है.

उन्होंने कहा कि प्राईवेट मेडिकल कॉलेजों में तो 12 से 15 लाख रुपये प्रतिवर्ष फीस ली जाती है, जबकि सरकारी कॉलेजों में फीस बढ़ाने के बावजूद पूरी एमबीबीएस पढ़ाई की फीस 4 लाख रुपये में ही पूरी हो जाती है.उन्होंने कहा कि बहुत सारे सरकारी खर्चों के बढ़ने के बाद एमबीबीएस की फीस बढ़ाई गई है, जो बहुत ज्यादा धन राशि नहीं हैं. लेकिन विपक्ष के लोग इसको मुद्दा बनाकर सरकार को घेरने की कोशिश कर रहे हैं, जो ठीक बात नहीं है.


SBI integrates YONO Krishi with IFFCO eBazar

With an aim to digitally empower its farmer customers and make them future-ready, country’s largest lender State Bank of India has facilitated the integration of YONO Krishi with IFFCO eBazar under its Mandi section.

With this integration, SBI’s farmer customers can avail free home delivery of all farming related products in over 27000 plus Pin codes across India from IFFCO eBazar portal.

Over 3 crore registered YONO customers can be benefited with the integration of YONO Krishi and IFFCO eBazar. 

IFFCO eBazar is a subsidiary of IFFCO Limited. Through its online B2C platform IFFCO eBazar sells variety of agro products. The platform is available in 12 languages through App (both Playstore and AppStore) and Portal.  

C. S. Setty, MD (Retail & Digital Banking), SBI said, “With the integration of IFFCO Bazar on YONO Krishi, customers will now be able to purchase the high-quality farm inputs and agri machinery online. This is another step towards fulfilling the vision of the government of doubling the farmer’s income by 2022. With a Digital-First approach, it is part of our continuous endeavor to provide innovative digital banking solutions to all our customers across the country.” 

Since its lunch last year, YONO Krishi platform has been catering to all the farmers’ agricultural needs, from sowing to harvesting.

Available in 10 vernacular languages, besides Hindi and English YONO Krishi is providing convenient and advanced farming experience to the customers.

Telangana minister launches tribal women-owned food processing unit

Allola Indrakaran Reddy, Minister for Endowment, Law, Forest and Environment, Telangana, inaugurated a tribal women-run food processing unit in Utnoor in Adilabad district on Monday (November 2,). The Komaram Bheem Peanut Chikki Industries that the minister opened is wholly owned by first-generation tribal entrepreneurs. The unit will supply to government nutrition programs and anganwadis in the tribal region.

The food processing unit is part of a collaboration between the Tribal Cooperative Finance Corporation (TRICOR), Tribal Welfare Department of Telangana, Government of India’s Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Agribusiness and Innovation Platform (AIP) of International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). The collaboration aims to localise production and address malnutrition, besides improving economic conditions of tribal communities.

“I am delighted to inaugurate the Komaram Bheem Peanut Chikki Industries in Utnoor today. This unit is a testament to the Telangana government’s commitment to the development and welfare of tribal populations in the state. The unit is owned and run by women is another reason for celebration,” the minister said.

The food processing unit is designed and equipped with machinery as per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines. It will ensure the production of nutritious food products meeting national and international market standards. ICRISAT has trained 80 tribal women farmers from Utnoor, Eturnagaram, and Bhadrachalam in Telangana to manage food processing units that are being set up in these blocks.

The project trains tribal women to be “Nutrition Entrepreneurs” and is critical to ensure the evolution of local value chains around local food production and consumption to make vulnerable tribal communities sustainable, especially post COVID-19. Going forward, this initiative will empower tribal communities by establishing more units and build their capacity to run the units in a sustainable manner, contributing towards not only health and nutrition, but sustainable livelihoods as well.


Godrej Agrovet launches ‘high yielding’ oil palm saplings

Edible Oil Yielding Plant

Godrej Agrovet’s Oil Palm Plantation business has launched a new superior high yielding Oil Palm sapling raised out of semi clonal seeds sourced from Malaysia. These saplings were distributed to the farmers under the Godrej Agrovet factory zone in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. 

Oil Palm is the most productive edible oil yielding plant in the world and plays a vital role in meeting the vegetable oil requirement of India. However, farmers are unable to maintain the return on investment levels of the past due to relatively low yields of existing saplings (Tenera Hybrids) compounded by environmental stress like low rainfall, drought, etc. The new variety will play a vital role in meeting the vegetable oil demand in India by overcoming these challenges. 

Nasim Ali, CEO of Oil Palm Plantation, Godrej Agrovetsaid, “Agricultural issues created by environmental stress have been directly impacting the farmer’s earnings. Godrej Agrovet has been a frontrunner in serving the Indian farmers for three decades now and will continue to provide innovative solutions. We are expecting to bring around 160 to 170 hectares area under the new variety of the oil palm saplings during October and November 2020 in Andhra Pradesh.” 

Dr R K Mathur, Director, ICAR- IIOPR (Indian Institute of Oil Palm Research),APsaid, “Oil Palm is a perennial crop and the returns from oil palm plantation is higher as compared to other oil seeds. The saplings of high yielding variety from Godrej Agrovet may improve the farmer’s income and thus contribute towards self-reliance in edible oil sector.”   

The new variety of high yield oil palm saplings will eventually be available to Oil Palm farmers and growers pan India, with a special focus on Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Gujarat, Mizoram, and Goa.