Over 70 lakh T.N. farmers to benefit from income scheme..!
Nearly 73.4 lakh agriculturists in the State may be covered under the Central government’s proposed income support scheme for farmers.
As the scheme is applicable to those owning up to two hectares of land, there are 62.24 lakh farmers, who have less than one hectare and 11.19 lakh, holding up to two hectares, according to the provisional results of the Agriculture Census, conducted keeping 2015-16 as the base year. The results were made public in October 2018.
The marginal and small farmers account for 92.5% of the total number with their landholdings having a combined share of around 62.35%. Officials dealing with issues concerning farmers are of the view that though there will be some implementation issues, the scheme can be rolled out in the State, given the level of digitisation of land records.
Also, the system of paying compensation or relief assistance through bank accounts is in place. Besides, a large number of them have taken insurance covers.
S. Ranganathan, a veteran farmer from Mannargudi in Tiruvarur district, said that in about 10% of cases, there can be a mismatch while integrating database on land holding with that of bank accounts of beneficiaries.
Citing the example of his district with regard to the provision of Cyclone Gaja relief, he said that while the number of beneficiaries in his district runs to several lakhs, the bank account details have been found to be wrong with respect to around 1,500.
V. Sathyanarayanan, another agriculturist from a village near Needamangalam in the same district, said that in the Cauvery delta where cultivators and land owners are generally different, the authorities will have to ensure that the cultivators get the benefit, without providing them any scope for claiming ownership over the lands.
However, he expressed dissatisfaction over the Centre’s move of covering only small and marginal farmers. A senior policy maker said that before implementing the scheme in the State, a drive to ‘update and purify’ the land records should be undertaken, just as it was done in Telengana where a similar scheme is in operation since April last year.
As for the exact number of beneficiaries, the officials said that this can be worked out, only on receipt of guidelines from the Centre.