Soon direct cash subsidy for UP farmers

Soon, the state's agriculture department will provide direct cash subsidy to farmers through its various schemes.

The matter is under consideration by a committee constituted by Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC) Alok Ranjan and is likely to be implemented soon.

"It is an ambitious scheme of the agriculture department. Presently, the modalities are being worked out by a high-level committee. All the schemes which include subsidies by the agriculture department will be covered under this. The subsidy will be transferred directly to the farmer's account," Dev Mitra Singh, Director, Agriculture Department said.

Ranjan said that the committee constituted by him includes principal secretaries of agriculture, horticulture, co-operative and some other officials. "The committee is likely to submit its report within a month. Then we will study the recommendations. We are seriously planning to provide cash subsidy instead of commodity," he added.

He also said that the stress will be on the safeguards in the scheme so that the cash subsidy is not misutilised. "It is a major hurdle and we have to plug all the loopholes," he said.

He also claimed that the system will be put in place hopefully by next year. "After getting a report within a month, we will be able to implement it from the next financial year," Ranjan stated.

All the major schemes of the agriculture department which involve subsidy will be covered in the scheme. The major schemes will be supply of micro-nutrients on which the farmers get 75 per cent subsidy. Major micro-nutrients used by UP farmers include zinc, sulphur, iron, boron, magnesium etc. Subsidy of 50 per cent is also provided on different pesticides. There are nearly 150 different types of pesticides provided by the agriculture department.

Another major subsidy given by the agriculture department is on various types of seeds. The subsidy ranges from Rs 500 per quintal to Rs 700 per quintal depending on different varieties. The department also provides subsidy of 50 per cent on various agricultural implements such as cultivator, harrow, leveller, thresher, sowing cap, fan etc. Subsidy of Rs 45,000 is also provided on the purchase of tractors to small and marginal farmers. These subsidies will also be included in the scheme.

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