The agriculture department aims to spend Rs 70 crore under this head in the 2018-19 fiscal. It expects nearly 11,000 farmers to avail the scheme's benefits. The Bihar government is going to give additional subsidy to farmers over what they are entitled to from the Centre to promote micro-irrigation methods like drip and sprinkler irrigation.

Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (micro irrigation) - talks of giving 55 percent subsidy to marginal farmers (those having land holding of less than one hectare) and 45 percent to those having land holdings over one hectare.

"The state government has decided to give 75 percent subsidy all the farmers irrespective of their land holdings. The additional subsidy amount will be provided by the state," an agriculture department official informed.

To ensure complete transparency in disbursement of the subsidy amount the department signed a memorandum of understanding with Axis Bank for direct benefit transfer.

According to the plan, farmers would have to register online through the official website of the agriculture department ( http://krishi.bih.nic.in) by providing the necessary details. Then, the farmers would apply online for the subsidy to set up micro-irrigation facilities. Their claim will be checked locally by the department and after processing at the district level, the subsidy will be forwarded to the state headquarters for subsidy payment.

"At each level of verification, a timeframe has been fixed for quick delivery of the subsidy," the official said. The farmers would have to spend 25 percent of the project cost from their pockets. But a selected agency from the agriculture department will set up the facility in the fields and after completion, the subsidy amount will be transferred to the selected agency's account.

"A software is being developed for this purpose and farmers' registration process will start in two months," said the official, adding that drip and sprinkler irrigation methods will not only help save 60 percent of the water used now and reduce fertilizer consumption by about 25 per cent, but also enhance the productivity of crops by about 25 percent.



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