1. Agriculture World

This New Scheme by Jhankhand’s Agriculture Department Will Benefit 58 Lakh Farmers

Shigraf Zahbi
Shigraf Zahbi
Jharkhand  Farmer
Jharkhand Farmer

Jharkhand’s Agriculture Department has come up with an initiative, Birsa Kisan, which will give unique IDs to about 58 lakh farmers in the state. This would ensure that state assistance actually reaches the farmers and they get better access to various programs like distribution of seeds and fertilizers, agricultural loans, and direct monetary help.   

A survey conducted in 2019 revealed that loan schemes never reach almost 60 per cent farmers in rural areas. While this number may seem to be shocking at first, the story of state assistance never really being accessible to the farmers is nothing new. Many other reports also highlight how cash transfer schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) never practically reaches to the farmers.  

Considering the state of the outreach of hundreds of government-run schemes, this initiative by Jharkhand’s Agriculture Department is a splendid move in the direction of giving assistance to lakhs of farmers in the state. Named Birsa Kisan, the sceme would facilitate a portal which would have a record of all the registered farmers through a chip-based identity card that shall be issued to them. 

Not only would this ensure government’s assistance to the farmers of the state but would also remove the names of beneficiaries who, in reality, only exist on papers.  

To develop and portal and the unique ID cards, the department has availed help from National Informatics Centre. The card would contain details like mobile number, Aadhar number, bank account, and land record information. The department targets to reach all the farmers in the state in three years time. The process would begin with those farmers whose e-KYC has already been done for other schemes and then would slowly be shifted to all farmers.    

Such a move indeed raises questions about privacy protection of included farmers and fear of exclusion for landless farmers. Similar concerns have been raised about central government’s plan to create a digital database of farmers. While these schemes may benefit farmers in some ways, the issues they pose are a cause of worry which cannot be neglected.  

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