Pro-farmer measures led to steep fall in suicides: Agri Minister

In spite of the impact of COVID, State registered 17% growth in primary sector and 20% in agriculture sector. File photo  

Agriculture Minister S. Niranjan Reddy has asserted that welfare schemes like Rythu Bandhu have increased the confidence level among farmers and thereby, resulted in steep decline in farmers’ suicides.

The statistics presented by the Central government in Parliament on farmers’ suicides were indicative of the proactive steps taken by the State government in making agriculture sector a profitable one. Rythu Bandhu in particular was launched after Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao conducted brain storming sessions for six long months to evolve the modalities for the scheme. The scheme subsequently became a role model for other States to emulate and this reflected the foresightedness of Mr. KCR.

The Minister, who responded to the Central government’s reply in Parliament, said the government was of the firm belief that improving the rural economy would be possible only through strengthening the agriculture sector. The government had accorded priority to the farm sector employing over 60% of the population and introduced several measures like Rythu Bandhu, Rythu Beema, free power and irrigation water to farms besides providing support price to farmers’ produce.

The measures were conceived after the previous governments neglected the farm sector leading to distress among ryots. Implementation of Rythu Bandhu from 2018 resulted in steep decline in farmers’ suicides and this was pointed out by the Centre in its reply. The scheme had reduced the dependence of farmers in banks and private moneylenders and ensured that their confidence levels were significantly enhanced.

The pro-farmer policies as well as the steps taken to create new ayacut ensured that farmers continued their profession while those who left it started returning to fields. In spite of the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, the State registered 17 per cent growth in the primary sector and 20 per cent in agriculture sector in particular. People and parties that were criticizing the Rythu Bandhu scheme should conduct an introspection in view of the Centre’s response to the schemes.

The Minister exuded confidence that the Dalit Bandhu scheme would yield similar results in empowerment of Dalits and thereby, improve their living standards significantly.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:06:01 AM |

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