Nellore: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has launched the YSR Rythu Bharosa-PM Kisan scheme on the eve of World Food Day and stood by his promise by depositing the investment support amount to farmers directly to their bank accounts besides assuring free nine-hour power supply to all farmers soon.

After launching the flagship programme at the Vikrama Simhapuri University here on Tuesday, the Chief Minister said that he has promised during the Plenary session held in July 2017, that Rs 50,000 would be given to farmers as investment support in the month of May as Rythu Bharosa and during the 3,648 km padayatra and the subsequent brainstorming with Farmers’ Associations and others, it was improvised further and the quantum of the package was increased to Rs 67,500 and is being paid eight months in advance.

The scheme which was designed for four years and was scheduled to begin from May 2020 is being launched in October itself and is extended to five years and every eligible family will get Rs 13,500 instead of the promised Rs 12,500 annually and the amount will be given as a staggered payment to meet the cropping pattern of the farmers, he said. The scheme will benefit 54 lakh farmers, including tenant farmers, and the amount to be paid is split into Rs 4,000 ahead of rabi in October, Rs 7,500 before Khariff and Rs 2,000 during Sankranti festival. The survey done during the previous government was faulty and has recorded 43 lakh farmers. We have screened the data and arrived at the figure of 54 lakh farmer families and still counting.

The scheme will be open till November 15 and eligible farmers, including tenant farmers, can register and claim the benefit. This is the first time that any state government has extended such benefit to tenant farmers, he said.

As agriculture is top on the priority areas, our government has promised to provide nine-hour free power supply to farmers. In nearly 60% of the areas the feeders are good while in the remaining 40 % areas there is need for repairs. Power supply is on in the 60 % villages and Rs 1,700 crores are sanctioned to upgrade the feeders and by July all farmers will be getting nine-hour free power supply, he said.

The Chief Minister said that he believes the manifesto as a sacred book and has been implementing the promises made with improved vigour and intensity. Road tax for tractors will go and every mandal will have a cold storage unit and in the coming days there would be many changes in agriculture sector.

Government is paying the premium for crop insurance on behalf of the farmers which is aggregating to Rs 2,164 cores and a Rs 3,000 crore Market Stabilisation Fund is set up to check the price fluctuations and ensure MPS to farmers. This apart Rs 2,000 crore was set aside for Natural Calamities Fund to mitigate drought and floods. There is no dearth for urea and we are planning to set up a Millets Board and are giving power at Rs 1.50 per unit to aqua farmers and Rs 7 lakh will be paid as insurance amount to the kin in case of farmer’s demise.

Since 2014, farmers had undergone lot of stress due to the wrong policies of the previous government and the concept of zero percent interest was erased from public memory. It will now come back as I have seen firsthand the plight of farmers, many of them small and marginal with very small land holdings. Nearly 70 % of the farmers have less than one hectare of land.

GDP figures do not spell development but it is the welfare of the farmer that defines development, he said. Jalayagnam will be taken up with earnestly and every project will be completed on a war-footing, he said.

Besides Rythu Bharosa, the Chief Minister had also given a cheque towards exgratia for loss of livestock amounting Rs 8,25,000.

Earlier, he went round the stalls where there was an exhibition of welfare schemes were on display. He paid floral tributes to YSR by garlanding the bust of YSR and also paid homage to former President APJ Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary.

Vice Chairman of Agriculture Mission, MVS Nagi Reddy, State Ministers K Kanna Babu, M Goutham Reddy, Anil Kumar Yadav, M Sucharitha, MP YV Subba Reddy, local MLAs were present on the occasion.

Also Read: YSR Rythu Bharosa: All You Need To Know About The Scheme