PM Kisan, World's Largest Individual Beneficiary Scheme for Landholding Farmers

Dr. Kirit N.Shelat, IAS (Rtd.)
Dr. Kirit N.Shelat, IAS (Rtd.)
Farmer in field

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has a direct connection with the general public. He connects with people directly and understands their needs as well. When he became Chief Minister of Gujarat, he noticed that farmers were losing their crops and having issues like low productivity, and lack of support and guidance from the administration, particularly in abnormal events or adverse weather conditions.

Krishi Mahotsav approach was introduced in the year 2004, to meet and guide farmers at their doorstep. He introduced the Soil Health Card – a soil test of each farmer's land to understand what his soil is lacking in terms of nutrients and what it is capable of producing. This led to sustainable agriculture as farmers started selecting crops that could be sustained by their soil. Gujarat, which had minus growth in Agriculture in the year 2000, transformed its agriculture under the Krishi Mahotsav approach, and farmers doubled their income and growth in the year 2004, and the following year was 11 percent.

As the Prime Minister of the Country again, he looked at agriculture for sustainable growth with higher income for farmers. Doubling Farmer's Income approach was launched in 2017 with a comprehensive agriculture program with a major shift in policy and infusion of resources. This included efficient use of water – micro irrigation program, agriculture infrastructure programme, Kisan Credit Card, and so on.

However, despite various initiatives by the government, the basic issues still loomed large as the generic approach of a farmer was to reach out for a loan because they are short on cash at the start of the season to buy seeds and other inputs, and if the production doesn't turn out as expected, then it gets tough for the farmer to pay back the loan amount.

He, therefore, introduced the most innovative and bold step. Direct cash assistance to farmers – so that the farmers can get income support for procuring farm inputs as well as for domestic needs.

This Scheme – " Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi" was launched in the year 2019 and through this scheme, the amount of Samman Nidhi is transferred directly into farmers' accounts by the Government without the involvement of any intermediary.

It aims at sustained financial support to farmers at their door-step. Under the Scheme, eligible farmers are provided direct benefit transfer of Rs. 2000 every four months, which is credited into their bank account. The registration process is simple and backed by a grievance redressal mechanism.  

This is perhaps the world's largest individual beneficiary scheme for landholding farmers. This scheme is creating confidence that Government is always with them – even during this challenging time of continuing adverse impact of Climate change and that they need not to migrate for earning the livelihood or to give up farming activity.

An estimated amount of Rs. 2 lakhs crore is already accrued in farmers' accounts. 

  • Says Farmer Nanuben Yogendrasingh Jadeja of village 'Vedach' Jambusar – Bharuch district of Gujarat – I could initiate my bank account and buy seeds of cotton. Similar says Khimjibhai Raval of village Khadi – Rajula, Amreli district, this direct cash benefit is amazing – money gets credited on our account – without meeting or approaching any local authority or agent. We had no such experience as if God is crediting! This helps us to buy directly from dealer certified seeds – so far we were dependent of traders cum progressive farmers who use to give un-certified seeds – out productivity improved immensely.

 Indian Agriculture sector is undergoing rapid transformation. It has shown sustainable growth during the pandemic and adverse climate-weather events. The direct cash transfer scheme is there to provide firm support to farmers in a volatile atmosphere. Nevertheless, some changes are always welcomed. Individual subsidy for tractors or similar schemes needs to be scrapped with only one direct cash transfer scheme, i.e., PM KISAN. 


Dr. Kirit N.Shelat, IAS (Rtd.)

Executive Chairman – NCCSD

Email: drkiritshelat@gmail.com, Website: www.nccsdindia.org

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