The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for introducing structural reforms in the agricultural sector along with financial assistance schemes like Direct Benefit Transfer to make agriculture profitable and sustainable.He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the Mukhya Mantri Krishi Ashirwad Yojna of the Jharkhand Government, in Ranchi, Jharkhand today. Lauding the Jharkhand government for coming up with the scheme, he expressed hope that it would go a long way in addressing agricultural distress in the state.Under the scheme, all the small and marginal farmers of the state, who have arable land up to a maximum of 5 acres, will be given a grant-in-aid at the rate of Rs. 5000 / - per acre per year, which will also reduce their dependence on loans. This amount would be given in two installments through Direct Benefit Transfer to the beneficiary’s bank account. This is in addition to PM Kisan Nidhi Yojana under which each small & marginal farmer’s family having combined landholding/ ownership of up to two hectares is paid Rs. 6, 000 per year, said the Vice President.Shri. Naidu opined that Direct Benefit Transfer would eliminate middlemen and ensure that every penny of the financial assistance given by the government reaches the beneficiaries.
The Vice President said that the Government of India had taken a firm resolve to double the income of farmers by 2022. He added that the government was continuously increasing the minimum support price of food grains to achieve this objective.He asserted that our development would be meaningless until the benefits of progress reached the rural areas and made the lives of our farmers better.The Vice President also stressed the need for water conservation and said that “Conservation of natural resources like water is essential. For this, a massive campaign of rainwater conservation should be carried out, which will replenish our ground water”.He cautioned that groundwater levels are continuously falling due to uncontrolled exploitation of groundwater. Due to which the cost of irrigation is increasing. The Vice President also urged the farmers to adopt traditional techniques to support groundwater conservation.The Governor of Jharkhand, Smt. Draupadi Murmu, the Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Shri Raghuvar Das, the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Shri Harivansh Narayan Singh, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Co-operative Department, Government of Jharkhand, Shri Randhir Kumar Singh and others were present on the occasion.