K Chandrashekhar Rao Telangana’s Chief Minister announced that under the ‘Rythu Bandhu’ system, all farmers in the state would receive financial assistance from December 28.
A day after the Pragathi Bhavan review conference, Rao said that more than Rs 7,500 crore will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of around 6.14 million farmers.
According to the chief minister’s office (CMO), the amount will be credited against 15.2 million acres of cultivated land at the rate of Rs 5,000 per acre for upcoming cropping season. Rao instructed the officials concerned to ensure that the value of the system is earned by each and every farmer in the state, the release said.
He (Rao) said the assistance should start with farmers with less land holding and farmers with a broad holding scale and all farmers should receive the assistance within 10 days, the statement read.
The officials also told the chief minister during the review meeting of the heavy losses caused by the government to the tune of Rs 7,500 crore due to the procurement of paddy, sorghum, corn, redgrams, sunflowers and Bengal grams. The officials claimed that while the government had bought them at the Minimum Support Price (MSP), they had to sell them on the market at lower rates, as there was no demand for such crops.
What is ‘Rythu Bandhu’?
The state-run scheme, formally known as the Agriculture Investment Support Scheme, aims to promote farmers’ lakhs to support farm investment each crop-sowing season. For the purchase of inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, chemicals, labor and other investments in the sector, the government offers financial assistance.
Under the scheme, for two seasons – Rabi and Kharif – every farmer in Telangana is expected to earn Rs 5000 per acre, which amounts to Rs 10,000 per year for an acre of cultivated land. The immediate deposit of money into the farmers’ bank account helps them to borrow the balance from the nearest post offices instead of travelling to cities and towns. Farmers can withdraw the sum through the micro ATMs accessible via thousands of post offices in rural areas of Telangana, according to the government website.