Hyderabad, Jan 20 (IANS) The government of Telangana has deposited Rs 7,411.52 crore into the bank accounts of 62.99 lakh farmers in the state so far under the Rythu Bandhu scheme for the coming Rabi season.
The investment support under the state's flagship scheme will cover 1,48,23,000 acres across the state, said Agriculture Minister S. Niranjan Reddy.
Among the districts, Nalgonda received the highest assistance of Rs 601.74 crore, benefitting 4,69,696 farmers.
Medchal Malkajgiri district adjoining Hyderabad received the least assistance of Rs 33.65 crore. The amount was deposited in the accounts of 33,452 farmers.
Under Rythu Bandhu, the government credits Rs 5,000 per acre into the farmers' bank accounts before the beginning of every crop season.
For the Rabi season, the disbursement target is Rs 7,646 crore. The authorities began depositing the amount in the farmers' accounts in the last week of December.
When the scheme was launched in 2018, the state government was providing Rs 8,000 per acre per year (for both Rabi and Kharif seasons). The amount was enhanced to Rs 10,000 from 2019.
On January 10, the cumulative assistance provided under the scheme touched the Rs 50,000 crore mark.
Niranjan Reddy said Rythu Bandhu, the brainchild of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, is proving a boon for farmers and it has helped transform agriculture in the state. He claimed that no other state in the country is implementing such a scheme for the welfare of farmers.
He demanded that the Central government announce a national policy for the welfare of farmers.
Stating that farmers were facing a lot of problems due to shortage of farm labourers, Niranjan Reddy reiterated the demand that the Central government should link National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) with the agriculture sector.
He said the state governments should fix the Minimum Support Price (MSP) considering the crop cultivation and other factors in their respective regions and the Centre should procure the entire produce at MSP.
He said it was unfortunate that the Centre was doing nothing except declaring MSP and demanded the Union government to implement recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee.
'The Centre should bring a change in its approach towards agriculture as 60 per cent of the country's population is dependent on this sector,' he said.
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