Rythu Bandhu, the Telangana government’s ongoing crop investment support scheme for farmers, costing about ₹12,000 crore a year is creating a lot of buzz outside the State too.
It is being monitored and evaluated by J-PAL (Abdul Lateef Jameel Poverty Action Lab), a global research centre based in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, known for its scientific and evidence-based evaluation of various government policies.
Commissioned by the State government, J-PAL, started collecting feedback from the beneficiaries of Rythu Bandhu Scheme (RBS), selected through random sampling. The feedback has thrown up some interesting pieces of information.
The preliminary findings of the survey, started four days ago through the High Frequency Monitoring in Person Phone Survey and IVRS, has been providing real time feedback on the scheme even as its implementation is underway. “It helps us in real-time governance and correcting lapses, bring in efficiency in the delivery system on the go,” official sources said.
A call centre manned by 40 members under the J-PAL has spoken to about 10,000 farmers so far with a set of questions. In the last four days 5,700 (45%) responded by answering all the queries. The target is 20,000 responses in the next 10 days. Under IVRS the target is responses from 40,000 beneficiaries.
The survey so far revealed about 81% of respondents received both the cheques and pattadar passbooks, while about 12.4 % received neither.
Contrary to the perception that it benefited big landlords, more farmers got cheques in the range of ₹10,001 to ₹20,000 (28%), ₹6,001 to ₹10,000 (21.4%) and ₹3,001 to ₹6,000 (24%). The farmers who received more than ₹50,000 were only 0.8 %.
Interestingly, some suggested that a cap on size of land holding should be put on investment support extended to the farmers. At present ₹4,000 per acre is given with no limit on the extent of land.
Overall, about 89% of the farmers said they are satisfied with the scheme. Moreover, there have been no major complaints with the quantum of amount given as 86.6% farmers said the amount in the cheque matched the extent of their land. Over 96% said none asked them to give anything in return while 2.5% admitted they faced some inconvenience of expectation.