Multi-crore schemes unlikely to save state from crop failure

IMPHAL, 11th Oct 2018: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) under the theme ‘irrigation to all fields’ in 2015, the state received substantial amount of fund for launch of effective irrigation projects and ensure the fields get irrigated. However, a rainfall deficit of some 30 per cent has brought the state to the inevitable condition of crop failure.
PMKSY and Rashtriya Krishi Vigyan Yojana (RKVY) are among the several centrally sponsored schemes for providing irrigation facilities to the fields which are being implemented in the state.
For the 2015-16 fiscal, the Centre released Rs 40 lakh as first instalment for District Irrigation Plan (DIP) under PMKSY on March 17, 2016. In 2016-17, another sum of Rs 9.75 crore was released for the state for distribution of water pump sets, digging wells and other purposes. Another amount of Rs 5 crore was released in 2017-18 for micro irrigation sector. Despite these funds, the state is still facing drought-like situation due to lack of proper irrigation facility.
At the same time, the government has been distributing water pump sets to farmers every year under RKVY and every constituency gets its share of the fund in different phases. On May 14 this year, an amount of Rs 15.79 crore was released for development of irrigation networks in three different sectors under the scheme. A fund of Rs 15.88 crore was also released under RKVY in 2017-18.
Over and above these, ministry of water resources has been providing huge assistance every year to the minor irrigation and CADA departments. Even though there are official records of developing irrigation facilities in different parts of the state under these funds, farmers are always facing drought-like situation when there is slight rainfall deficit. In such a situation, the major question that lies ahead is how the different departments of the state government are utilising the huge fund provided without being able to ensure the much needed irrigation facility to the farmers.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Modi launched Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in 2016 while encouraging farmers to subscribe to crop insurance to recover their loss in times of natural calamities and crop failures due to various reasons. However, efforts of the state agriculture department in creating awareness among the public and mobilising the farmers to subscribe to this insurance scheme is also another major question.
As per report received by The People’s Chronicle, only about 130 farmers are subscribers of the crop insurance scheme. Farmers in other states get benefits of the scheme for crop failures or destruction of crops by wild animals or birds. However, the state government has not been able to actualise the scheme effectively in the state. Whether be it lack of initiative from the government or ignorant nature of the farmers, the farmers are always at the receiving end when it comes to loss of crops due to various reasons.
So far, sufficient rainfall remains the only hope for the farmers of the state despite spending huge amount of public fund by the government.

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