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Hyderabad: Telangana fought for its existence in undivided Andhra Pradesh but after the State’s formation in 2014, it has emerged as one of the most developed States in the country, thanks to the priority accorded to welfare and development initiatives by the TRS government.

Among the several innovative initiatives introduced by the State government in the farm sector to benefit farmers is the Rythu Bandhu scheme which has since emerged as a model programme for the entire country. So far, the State government has provided financial assistance to the tune of Rs Rs 58,102 crore under the scheme that has won accolades from all over the country and even abroad. Taking a cue from the Rythu Bandhu scheme, the Central government also introduced the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana scheme.

This monsoon season, as many as 3.64 lakh farmers applied for financial assistance under Rythu Bandhu. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao issued instructions to the officials concerned to release funds immediately to provide timely financial assistance to farmers.

Rythu Bandhu funds were deposited in farmers’ accounts for the monsoon season recently, with the government paying Rs 7,654.43 crore to farmers in instalments of Rs 5,000 per acre. A total of 68.94 lakh farmers received investment assistance covering 1.53 crore acres in the State. About 1.50 lakh acres have been added to the Rythu Bandhu list.

Compared to the Yasangi season, over 3.64 lakh farmers have been given new financial assistance under the scheme this time. The government deposited Rs 50,448 crore under Rythu Bandhu in the accounts of farmers till last year. “If we add Rs 7,654.43 crore deposited this season, the total amount of Rythu Bandhu assistance sanctioned till now is Rs 58,102 crore,” Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy said.

“There is no record of any government providing financial assistance to farmers in the country so far. No matter the financial problems created by the Central government, Chandrashekhar Rao sanctioned funds for the farmers in the State,” he said, adding this was proof of the Chief Minister’s commitment towards farmers.

Pointing out that Rythu Bandhu was introduced by the TRS government to encourage agriculture production in villages and increase the income of farmers, he said it protects the farmers from getting trapped in debts. The government will deposit Rs 5,000 per acre per farmer in their account every season. If the scheme is availed for two crops in Kharif and Rabi seasons, small and marginal farmers will get Rs 10,000 from the government for buying seeds, chemicals, fertilizer and other needs under the scheme.

The scheme was first announced by the Chief Minister on February 25, 2018, at the farmers’ coordinating committee conference held at Jayashankar Agriculture University. On May 10, 2018, the Chief Minister launched the scheme in the Dharmarajupalli village of the Huzurabad Assembly constituency in the Karimnagar district. About 55 per cent of the population in Telangana depends on agriculture for their livelihood. More than 90.5 per cent of poor people are benefited from this crop investment scheme.

Since farmers were not getting help for the cultivation of crops, they used to take loans from investors and brokers who used to charge high-interest rates earlier. Unable to cope with the debts along with interest, farmers used to commit suicide. To check these problems, the government introduced the Rythu Bandhu scheme. Apart from extending financial assistance under the scheme, the State government is also supplying quality power for 24 hours to all sectors in the State.

In the initial days after the State’s formation, the installed electricity capacity in 2014 was 7,778 megawatts, but today with the vision of the Chief Minister, Telangana is having 17,234 megawatts of electricity and supplying uninterrupted power. “At a time when Telangana was shining brightly, the leaders from Delhi were ridiculing us,” the Minister said. With respect to the irrigation sector, Telangana has completed major projects to meet farmers’ requirements.




Author: Howard Caldwell