Aiming at doubling farmers’ income by 2022, a common digital platform integrating 585-odd agricultural markets which enables farmers to sell their produce anywhere across the country for better price realisation would be launched on April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Thursday at a farmers’ rally in Sehore, Madhya Pradesh.
Noting that the farmers do not get adequate price for his produce despite working hard as he has no choice but to sell in the nearby mandis, Modi said “we will be formally launching the National Agriculture Market — NAM —platform which allows farmers to sell their produce for remunerative prices.” He said NAM will enable farmers, using a mobile phone, to sell their produce anywhere in the country, wherever they can get a better price. Under the e-agri platform, the government is working towards integrating all the 585 wholesale mandis of the country by 2018 in a phased manner, for which R200 crore have been earmarked as of now. In the first phase, 200 mandis will be integrated by March, 2016 while another 200 will be connected to the online platform in 2017 and the rest mandis by 2018.
Modi, who addressed the first farmers rally as part of series of four rallies also unveiled guidelines for the recently-launched Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) said this was one of the various initiatives of his government aimed at ensuring the welfare of the farmers who have been in distress due to vagaries of weather.
“Farmers were not joining the crop insurance scheme because of delay in settlement of claims and high premium rates given by the farmers,” Modi said. He said that on many occasions, the premium amount paid by farmers was as high as 8% to 14% of the insured amount.
“Our first aim was to win the trust of the farmers,” Modi said, while stating that for the last two years, the rainfall situation has not been good. Yet, the farmers of India left no stone unturned in agriculture production.
He also highlighted the fact that under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY), 25% of the insured sum would be given upfront to farmers who have taken the crop insurance scheme.
In a bid to shrug off a perceived pro-rich image, Modi would be addressing three more farmers rallies on February 21 in Bargarh (Odisha), February 27 in Belagavi (Karnataka) and February 28 in Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh) to create awareness about the NDA government’s pro-farmers initiatives such as the PMFBY and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY).
The PMFBY will come into effect from the upcoming kharif season. It envisages a uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for kharif crops like paddy, oilseeds and pulses, and 1.5% for rabi crops.