Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana

  • It is one of the major efforts by the government which aims to secure the lives of the small farmers and marginal farmers in their old age.

Key features

  • Eligibility Criteria:
  • Farmers holding up to 2 hectare farmland will be eligible for the PM-KMY scheme.
  • Farmers between 18 and 40 years of age will get 3,000 monthly pension after reaching 60 years of age.
  • Contribution:
  • Depending on their age, farmers need to make a monthly contribution ranging between Rs. 55 and Rs. 200.
  • The farmers, who are also beneficiaries of PM-Kisan Scheme, will get the option to allow their contribution debited from the benefit of that scheme directly.
  • Coverage: The scheme is being implemented across the country, including Jammu & Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh.
  • Enrolment through CSCs:The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare has roped in Common Service Centres (CSCs) for enrollment of subscribers.
  • Voluntary Ext Option: Kisan Maan Dhan yojana beneficiaries will be able to opt voluntarily to exit the Scheme after a minimum period of 5 years of regular contributions. On exit, their entire contribution will be returned by LIC with an interest equivalent to prevailing saving bank rates.

Significance

  • The yojana will provide a social security to vulnerable small and marginal farmers with an assured supplemental income.
  • It would pave the way for the farmers to live a respectable living.

Common Service Centres (CSCs)

  • It is a strategic cornerstone of the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP), approved by the Government in May 2006, as part of its commitment in the National Common Minimum Programme to introduce e-governance on a massive scale.
  • It is one of the mission mode projects under the Digital India Programme.
  • CSCs are the access points for delivery of essential public utility services, social welfare schemes, healthcare, financial, education and agriculture services, apart from host of business- to-customer (B2C) services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country.

Significance

  • It is a pan-India network catering to regional, geographic, linguistic and cultural diversity of the country, thus enabling the Government’s mandate of a socially, financially and digitally inclusive society.

Digital India

  • Launched in July, 2015, it is a flagship programme of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
  • It encompasses 3key vision areas:
    • Digital infrastructure as a Core Utility to every citizen
    • Governance and service on demand
    • Digital Empowerment of Citizens

Challenges Faced by Small and Marginal Farmers

  • Unorganisation of Agricultural Sector:
  • Indian agriculture s4ector is largely an unorganised sector with inadequate organisational planning involved in cultivation, irrigation, harvesting etc. Institutional finances are not adequately available and minimum purchase price fixed by the government do not reach the poorest far.
  • Small farm Holdings:
  • According to the 10th Agricultural Census(2015-16), small and marginal holdings (below two hectares) constituted 86.21% of the total land holdings, which makes profitable cultivation impractical making it economically unfeasible.
  • Credit and Indebtedness Issues:
  • This is one of the main cause  of increasing farmer’s suicide across the country.Exorbitant  interest  rates  have  to  be declared illegal and the  government has to  take  strict  measures  against  greedy money    Easy  access  to institutional  credits  have  to  reach  the small  and  marginal  farmers,  without cumbersome procedure.
  • Water Problems:
  • Water is the leading input in agriculture. Small holding agriculture depend more on ground water compared to large farmers who has more access on canal water.Marginal and small farmers are going to face more problems regarding water in future.
  • Under-Penetration of Government Schemes:
  • Government has implemented agricultural debt waiver & debt relief scheme. Most of the subsidies & welfare schemes announced by the central &state government do not reach to poor farmers. On the contrary, only big land holders are benefited by these schemes.
  • The suicides that are being reported from farms across the country clearly indicate that these schemes have not found enough takers. Worse, even in cases where the farmer has signed up for a policy, he may not be eligible to make a claim when he is badly hit on account of loan defaults.
  • Lack of Awareness
  • The farmers were not aware of how the insurance schemes worked. Most of them, for instance, did not know that the policy becomes inoperative if they default on payments. The farmers do not know anything about the guidelines. The government has also not made any effort to make them aware. This is why these schemes are not too effective.
  • Climatic Changes Issues
  • Climate changes have been a major challenge for food security, agriculture and livelihoods for millions of people including rural farmers and poor people in India. Rural communities, who live in fragile environments, face an immediate and ever-growing risk of loss of livestock, increased crop failure and reduced availability of aquaculture, marine and forest products.

Way Forward

  • With a view to improve the condition of Small  and Marginal farmers and to double the income of farmers by 2022, Government is realigning its interventions from production-centric approach to farmer’s income-centric initiatives, with focus on better and new technological solutions.
  • These include implementation of schemes like PradhanMantriKrishiSinchaiYojana (PMKSY), ParamparagatKrishiVikasYojana (PKVY), Soil Health Card, Neem Coated Urea, Rainfed Area Development under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), PradhanMantriFasalBimaYojana (PMFBY), National Agriculture Market scheme (e-NAM), National Food Security Mission (NFSM), RashtriyaKrishiVikasYojana (RKVY),
  • In addition, farmers are provided information through Focused Publicity Campaigns, Kisan Call Centres (KCCs), Agri­-Clinics and Agri-Business Centres (ACABC) of entrepreneurs, Agri Fairs and exhibitions, Kisan SMS Portal etc.
  • Also, better credit and transportation facilities, warehousing and storage, better access to crop insurance are important for improving the earnings and living conditions of marginal farmers.
  • Small and marginal holdings agriculture is important for raising agriculture growth, food security and to improve the economy in India and the future of sustainable agriculture growth and food security of the nation depends on the performance of these small and marginal farmers.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, September, 2019