The Swaminathan foundation, headed by the noted agriculture scientist, said in a statement that the amount paid currently under the scheme "is inadequate to overcome the current losses and make investment for the next cropping season.
The Centre should immediately increase the money paid to farmers under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana to Rs 15,000 per year because of the lockdown, said the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation on Monday.
Currently, each small and marginal farmer is paid Rs6,000 per year in three installments under the Yojana.
The Swaminathan foundation, headed by the noted agriculture scientist, said in a statement that the amount paid currently under the scheme “is inadequate to overcome the current losses and make investment for the next cropping season.
The department of agriculture and horticulture should take immediate steps to market perishable produce like vegetables and fruits in a sustained manner. Similarly, ensuring safe and adequate local transport for farm labourers be provided by the government, it said, adding, There is more demand for farm labourers in certain areas where the crops are in the peak harvesting stage. It also highlighted that farm labourers were not getting adequate employment opportunities in their villages and sought “adequate protective and safety measures” for them.
The government should ensure the procurement of the Rabi crop harvest with an assured minimum support price. Considering the gaps in the supply chain, the government has to ensure the procurement of non-perishable food products from farmers as per MSP,” Swaminathan suggested.
Fresh credit to farmers irrespective of their earlier loan should be provided to commence farm preparatory work for the Kharif/South West monsoon season. Those farmers who availed loans from the market against the assured supply of farm products should not be charged interest till the next crop, the former Rajya Sabha member suggested.
Farm equipment like harvesters and threshers should be given priority in movement to help the peasants, he said.
Use of ICT tools like mobile-based voice mails, social media – WhatsApp and phone-in programmes through mail are working well in connecting farmers with agriculture experts and officials.
The advantage of such tools should be harnessed effectively to update officials and reduce the gaps in implementing the guidelines in a farmer friendly manner,” he said.