NEW DELHI: The Centre is looking to roll-out a combination of price support schemes for farmers with an estimated outlay of Rs 12,000 -15,000 crore by October.
Under the schemes, the states may choose from different templates – direct cash support, price deficiency payment, protected price and physical procurement – and provide relief to farmers.
Sources said that the issues relating to finalising those templates will first be discussed during the two-day national conference on doubling farmers’ income next week and later during meeting of agriculture ministers of states in March-April.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the national conference on its concluding day on Tuesday.
In the meeting, the scheme already adopted by Madhya Pradesh (price deficiency payment), Telangana (direct cash transfer) and Haryana (protected price for horticultural produce) governments would be discussed.
“The NITI Aayog will, in consultation with states, finalise it and present the combination of schemes for approval by the government. Idea is to implement it from the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS), beginning October”, said an official.
Under the MP’s ‘Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana’, state government pays farmers the difference between MSP for crops and their average market rates. Farmers get money if they have to sell their produce in open market below MSP.
In Haryana, on the other hand, the state government fixes protected price for potatoes, onions, cauliflowers and tomatoes. If prices of these vegetables fall below the protected price, farmers will be compensated for the deficit.
Telangana has, however, a different approach to support farmers. The state will disburse Rs 4,000 per acre twice a year (Kharif and Rabi) to cover costs of major inputs (fertilisers, seeds and pesticides). Disbursement under this cash support scheme will start from Kharif season this year (May). It’ll cost Rs 12,000 crore per year to the state exchequer.
“The main aim of the conference next week is to build a consensus around appropriate recommendations that will help in shaping and sharpening the vision of the government on doubling farmers’ income by 2022 into actionable points”, said an official.
He said, “The idea is to arrive at practicable solutions that can be implemented for the benefit of farmers in the country. Government is keen to find and adopt the suggestions of the participants that will help in yielding quick results across the agricultural sector.”
Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh will inaugurate the Conference on Monday.