The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet on Wednesday merged the Centre’s newly-announcedPradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana with the Annadatha Sukhibhava, its own scheme that promises direct benefit transfer of Rs 10,000 to all farmers in the state. The benefits will be transferred in two equal batches of Rs 5,000 before the start of the kharif and rabi seasons, The Hindu reported on Thursday.
Tenant farmers will be provided “cultivation certificates” and loan eligibility certificates under the state government scheme. “All those farmers who are eligible for Rs 6,000 per household under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi will receive Rs 4,000 from the Andhra Pradesh Government,” Agriculture Minister Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy said according to The Indian Express. “We are merging both – the Centre will give Rs 6,000 and AP Government will give Rs 4,000 more. About 54 lakh farmers will benefit from this.”
Reddy said that Andhra Pradesh is the first state where tenant farmers will also receive investment support benefits.
The Centre will release the first instalment of Rs 2,000 this month, and the Andhra Pradesh government will add Rs 3,000 to it, Reddy said. “Rs 2,000 is of no use to a farmer,” he claimed. “By adding Rs 3,000 from our side we are making a decent sum that the farmer can use to prepare his field.”
The minister said the state will adjust the remaining amount during the rabi season. “The entire scheme will cost Rs 5,000 crore per annum for which a provision has been made in the budget,” he added.
But the Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangam, a peasants’ group, told The News Minute that the Chandrababu Naidu-led government’s scheme would be insufficient. “The prices of fertiliser have increased by at least Rs 300,” the group’s state chief Peddi Reddy said. “The scheme will not help farmers in the state as Rs 10,000 will hardly suffice for an acre of land. They should increase the amount if they want to assist while providing better opportunities to farmers to market their crops.”