IMPHAL: On the 25th of April 2020 we will complete one month of total lockdown. This lockdown was enforced to contain the spread of COVID19 pandemic – a measure that can’t be replaced by any other means for now. Every citizen is facing hardships, especially the people of the weaker sections of society.
Amidst this lockdown, the important kharif season for the farmers has arrived. Seeing the need of the farmers and the nation as a whole, the lockdown has been partially relaxed for some sectors including the farming sectors. Along with this, the government has already announced welfare and support schemes for small farmers.
Government front-loaded in the accounts of farmers Rs 2,000 in first week of April under the existing PM Kisan Yojana, helping 8.7 crore farmers.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM KISAN) is a revolutionary scheme which aims to transform the lives of small and marginal farmers in India, by providing them assured monetary support in three instalments every year. The scheme implemented through DBT, transfers the amount directly to the bank account of the beneficiary, thereby eliminating middlemen and corruption. As against the onetime loan waivers, PM KISAN is truly an empowering project designed for ensuring dignified life for small scale farmers. In the long run, the scheme is expected to address farmer migration and improve crop intensity. Under the Scheme, Rs 6,000 will be given per year to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding/ownership of upto 2 hectares. The amount is given in three installments of Rs.2000 each.
Now preparation for planting kharif crop is already in full swing. During this time of hardship, the support the government has given is quite successful, as evident from the testimonials of farmers from across Manipur. Ng. Shyamkishore from Matai, Imphal East district, Manipur got Rs. 2000 for PM Kishan Scheme. In this crucial lockdown period, the financial assistance is very helpful to him. From the amount he has already started purchasing tools for ploughing his farm.
Another beneficiary O. Mangileima from Sunusiphai, Bishnupur district said that Rs. 2000 was credited to his bank account for KISHAN Scheme under PMGKY. He further said the amount will be used to buy fertilizers and hoped that it will bail him out of the hardship he is facing now.
Ng. Roton from Luwangshangbam Matai, Imphal East district is also purchasing fertilizers for his farm from the Rs. 2000 he got from KISAN scheme under PMGKY. He had already started to prepare his paddy field by ploughing, weeding etc as he will started sowing as soon as the rain comes.
Similarly Kh. Bijen from Khumbong, Imphal West district have also received Rs. 2000 for Kisan Scheme which is helping him in buying items used in agricultural purposes during this hardship period.
Pathingla Shimrah is a marginal farmer from Ukhrul district. He had received an amount of Rs. 2000 through Direct Benefit Transfer under PM KISAN. The amount was indeed a great help for farmers like him and he hoped to get the next instalment very soon.
Manu Kaping is also a small marginal farmer from Ukhrul. She was living in the fear that the sowing season would pass soon and she wouldn’t be able to make a living. However, she received financial assistance of Rs. 2000 in her account under PM Kisan and the relaxation for the farming sector has also come at just the right time for her. During this lockdown period, her family could purchase daily essential items and could also start their agricultural activities.
The economy of our country is largely depended on our farmers. Timely intervention to them has brought their economic activity back on track. The government clearly understands how to balance the measure of containing the disease with not compromising with livelihood and life of the citizens. Truly PMJGK Yojana package is a wholesome welfare package to fight the invisible enemy.