Dear Brothers and sisters, Namaskar to all of you and Johar to the people of Jharkhand.
I am glad to be among all of you on the occasion of inauguration of Mukhyamantri Krishi Aashirwad Scheme for the benefit of farmer brothers on the holy land of Vaidyanath in the holy month of Sawan. Rainy season is the time for new creation of nature. Mother Earth bless us with prosperity on getting satisfied with life-giving water. On this occasion I am feeling very happy to find myself among land serving farmer brothers.
Friends, Jharkhand predominantly is an agricultural state. I am glad to know that the Government is making serious efforts towards the welfare of farmers and to promote agriculture. I am informed that the State Government is running a scheme of water storage and water harvesting to promote agriculture, and renovating ponds, making deep boring and constructing percolation tank which will create additional irrigation facilities in increased area.
Friends, I would urge that harvesting and conservation of natural resources such as water is necessary. A comprehensive campaign shall be carried out for this purpose, which will increase the ground water level. This is a matter of concern that ground water level is constantly falling down due to uncontrolled consumption of ground water. This is increasing the cost of irrigation.
The Prime Minister has given a message of 'per drop, more crop'. I would urge that our farmer brothers shall contribute in ground water conservation by adopting their traditional technique.
I am glad to know that the mechanization of agriculture is in progress. Constitution of 'seed village (beej gram) by the Government is a commendable initiative. I am satisfied to know that there is an arrangement of single window centre so that farmers can get the benefit of schemes easily. Agriculture is full of uncertainities. Therefore, crop insurance scheme is operational to compensate the loss of crop in adverse conditions. Also, to reduce the cost of farmers, short term agriculture loans are given to the farmers through kisan credit card and in order to waive off additional 3 percent interest on it, the 'interest subvention' scheme is being run. These two schemes of State Government are welcome steps.
As you are aware, the Government of India has taken resolution to double the income of farmers till 2022. In this order, the Government is continuously increasing the minimum support price of 23 food grains and the minimum support price of forest products is also being fixed for our forest dweller brothers.
I am happy to say that State Government is inaugurating Mukhya-Mantri Aashirwad Scheme to fulfill the resolution of increasing the income of farmers.
Under this scheme, all the small and marginal farmers of the state having maximum of 5 acres of agricultural land shall be given grant in aid of Rs 5000 per acre every year. Farmers having total 0-1 acres of agricultural land shall be given Rs 5000/- as financial aid. I believe that farmers will use this money for agricultural purpose, which will reduce their dependency on loan. I am also intimated that this amount will be given in two installments. Under this scheme, all the eligible farmers will get minimum Rs 5000/- every year and maximum Rs 25000/- and this amount will be directly transferred to the bank accounts of the farmers through Direct Benefit transfer (DBT)
In last decades, small arable area has increased but the small size of holdings is a matter of concern. According to an estimate, in future around 90 per cent holdings would have area of less than one hectare.
Along with the size of the holdings, these families have meager income too. But, farmers use seeds, fertilizers and chemicals to get maximum produce from these very small holdings, which increases the cost. Due to this, per hectare productivity in our country is less than other countries. In this situation, the assistance provided by the Government is very much welcoming.
I am happy that the State Government has fixed the target of providing benefit to around 35 lakh farmers of the state this year. Today, in its first stage, amount of Rs 380.00 crores is being distributed among around 10 lakh farmers as first installment, I believe that this scheme will prove to be helpful in doubling the income of farmers.
I again congratulate the Government of Jharkhand for starting this Scheme and my best wishes to all the farmers. On this occasion, I would like to urge farmer brothers to set up micro industries or handicraft or other rural industries, which will not only increase the income and promote rural entrepreneurship but also there will be increase in agricultural productivity. Development of the state is possible by your development only.
I again congratulate the Government of Jharkhand for starting this scheme.