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Chhattisgarh News
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.