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Syllabus: GS 2 — Government schemes, GS3 — Agriculture
'Co-operative federalism also means that the union government and the state government learn from each other'. Discuss the MP's Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana and Telangana's Rythu Bandhu Scheme in improving the status of agriculture in India in this light.
What is Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana (BBY)?
- BBY is a “Price Deficiency Payment” (PDP) scheme, being undertaken by the government of Madhya Pradesh.
- BBY assures that farmers at least get the MSP value for their crops.
- 8 kharif crops namely Soybean, maize, urad, tur, moong, groundnut, til, ramtil are covered under the scheme.
What is the Structure of the scheme?
- Under the scheme, farmers will have to first register on a portal and their sown area is then verified by government officials.
- Subsequently, the farmer allocated a time slot to bring his produce to the mandi, where the quantity eligible for deficiency pricing is determined.
- The quantity is determined based on the average productivity of the particular district and the cropped area of the particular farmer.
- The farmers receive the difference between “average sale price” (market price) and “minimum support price” (MSP), directly into their bank accounts.
- It hence provides an alternative to physical procurement of commodities at MSP, which comes with the hassles of storage, transport and marketing.
What are the problems?
- Only those farmers registered on its portal gets benefited.
- Financial burden will be more than 90% of the state’s total agri-budget, rendering BBY unfeasible.
- The Haryana government too has announced a somewhat similar scheme for vegetables but it does not even cover the full cost of production.
What is Telangana’s Rythu BandhuScheme?
- The government of Telangana is piloting an “Input support scheme” modelled on the line of EU’s “single payment scheme”.
What is the Structure of the Rythu Bandhu scheme?
- It involves paying Rs 4,000 per acre to every farmer twice a year for the kharif and Rabi seasons.
- The payment is mainly to cover the cost of major farm inputs such as fertilisers, seeds and pesticides.
- It is also to relieve farmers from taking loans from moneylenders.
- This doesn’t require the farmer to register his cultivated area and the farmer isn’t constrained by crop choice or sale timelines.
- This model is crop-neutral, more equitable, more transparent, and gives farmers the freedom to choose.
What could be the issues faced by the government in implementing Rythu Bandhu?
- It is being linked to land ownership. Thus it automatically leaves out tenant cultivators of such input supports provided.
- The payments are on a per-acre basis. Thus a sizeable share of the payment will go to undeserving large farmers and absentee landowners.
- There is no provision to ensure that the financial aid is actually utilised for purchasing farm inputs.
- Thus the programme needs modification to lend income support to those who are actually engaged in agricultural activities.
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