Chhattisgarh farmers have become real heroes
RAIPUR: Farmers of the ‘Rice Bowl’, Chhattisgarh, have
become heroes in real sense, as far as farming is concerned. They start getting
agriculture loan at ‘zero’ percent interest from financial year 2014-15, in
accordance to the budget declaration of chief minister Dr Raman Singh.
Paddy production of the state has registered
continuous increase because of separate agriculture budget provision,
continuous decrease in interest rates, free electricity of 7,500 units per year
for irrigation pumps, Rs 75,000 grant per farmer for pump connections and other
various grant schemes for farming.
The Raman government has relieved the farmers from
interest on agriculture loan. Continuous drizzling in ‘Sawan’ has brought smile
on the face of farmers, which were withered on seeing the drought like
situation in ‘Ashadh’. As sowing has been speeded up, the activities of farmers
have been increased day after day for taking benefits of interest-free loan
facility from cooperative societies.
The Cooperatives Department has issued the Interest
Grant on Agriculture Loans Act 2014 to give interest-free loan to the farmers.
According to the Act, farmers start getting interest-free short term
agriculture loan facility from cooperative societies and banks from April 2014.
There is provision to give this facility for traditional cattle keeping, fisheries
and horticulture crops.
Officers of Apex Bank at the state capital said on
Sunday that interest-free loan has been given to the farmers for Kharif crops
from April 1 to September 30. Upto July 31, over eight lakh farmers have taken
Rs 1,889.51 crore loan. To lessen the burden of increasing cost of farming of
the farmers, the state government, under the leadership of Dr Raman Singh, had
decreased the interest rate on agriculture loan five times during the last 10
years and they were freed from interest at the sixth time.
According to the officers, the government has set a
target of distribution of agriculture loan worth Rs 2,450 crore to the farmers
during the Kharif season. So far, 77.12 percent of the target has been
achieved. In the year 2012-13, the arrival of paddy on support price in the
societies has registered a huge increase of 71.21 lakh metric tonne. About Rs
11,000 crore has been given to over 10 lakh farmers as encouragement amount on
support price. During the last kharif marketing year, 75.41 lakh metric tonne
paddy arrived in the cooperative societies of the state. The farmers were paid
Rs 10,000 crore for it. Rs 2,400 will be given to the farmers as encouragement
amount at Rs 300 per quintal paddy.