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Bengal farmers' income has galloped 3-fold since 2011, points out Mamata

Bengal farmers income has galloped 3-fold since 2011,  points out Mamata

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stated on Sunday that the average annual income of farmers has tripled in the last seven years since Trinamool Congress took charge of Bengal. Banerjee's claim assumes significance with Sunday (December 23) being observed as Kisan Diwas in the country.

"In #Bangla the average annual income of farmers has tripled from Rs 91,000 in 2010-11 to Rs 2.91 lakh in 2017-18. We have also waived the tax and mutation fee on agricultural land. We are committed to the welfare of farmers #KisanDiwas," Banerjee tweeted.

She also paid tributes to late Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh on his birth anniversary which is observed as #Kisan Diwas. "Respectful homage to Chaudhary Charan Singh, former Prime Minister, on his birth anniversary.

This day is also observed as #Kisan Diwas. My best wishes to all the farmers in the country on the occasion," Banerjee tweeted.

It may be mentioned that the state government has taken significant strides since 2011 to usher a complete change in the lives of farmers. Sixty-nine lakh farmers have been given Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) and the process of direct transfer of subsidies under various schemes directly to KCC and bank accounts of farmers was started in 2012.

"We have given hands-on training and demonstrations with modern agricultural technology and certified seeds. Other critical inputs have been conducted through demonstration centres on fields that have covered more than 74 lakh farmers and 18.6 lakh hectare of area," said a senior official of the state Agriculture Department.

The government has encouraged diversification to profitable crops like pulses, oil seeds, maize etc by demonstration, introduction of improved varieties according to farmers' and market demand, and consumer preference to ensure better earnings by farmers for their produce.

"This has increased the area and production of these high-value crops, enhancing farmers' average income beyond three times," the official said. To facilitate mechanisation in agriculture, farm implements like tractors, power tillers, reapers, pump sets, etc as well as small implements were distributed among 3.7 lakh farmers at a cost of Rs 385.9 crore from 2012-13 to 2017-18.

The government set up 963 Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) from financial year 2014-15 to 2017-18, providing government subsidies at a rate of 40 percent, which is worth Rs 80.1 crore in total, to rural entrepreneurs.

"The Bangla Fasal Bima Yojana has provided farmers free insurance. The senior citizen allowance for farmers (Farmers' Old Age Pension scheme) has been increased from Rs 750 per month to Rs 1,000 per month from fiscal 2017-18 and the number of beneficiaries has been raised from 68,000 to 1 lakh," the official added.

The promotion of Farmers' Producer Organisations (FPO) has been undertaken for organising small and marginal farmers into groups to improve their income by standardising the quality of their produce to fetch better market prices.

Over 2,000 farmers have been felicitated with Krishak Ratna at the block level while 340 farmers have been felicitated with Krishak Samman and 21 farmers with Mati Samman at the state level during the annual Mati Utsavs.

Tarun Goswami

Tarun Goswami

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