First identify sharecroppers, then roll out DBT: Farmers’ body to govt

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Bhubaneswar: Even though the State government is gearing up to roll out direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme in the ensuing khariff season, a farmers’ body has raised doubt over the implementation of the scheme as the State government is yet to identify sharecroppers in Odisha.

“Has the State government identified sharecroppers? If not, then how it is claiming that the DBT scheme will benefit the farming community? For whose benefit the scheme is going to be implemented in the State? asked Akshya Kumar, convenor of Naba Nirman Krushak Sangh.

Kumar also raised doubt on the cash transaction under the scheme in the absence of banking services in villages.
“Out of 6238 gram panchayats, 4,604 are unbanked gram in the State. And how the State government is expecting to start the scheme in this khariff season and is claiming that it will benefit the farmers? Kumar asked.

He informed that nearly 70% of farmers don’t have bank accounts in their names.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture department which has set April 15 deadline for enrollment of farmers to avail the scheme, said it will stick to its deadline.

“The scheme will be implemented across the State in this khariff season,” Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy said.

Under the scheme, the Odisha government aims to give farmers Rs 1000 subsidy on purchase of per quintal of seeds. The State government has also notified that to avail the facility, the farmers have to register their names with the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) or Large Area Multi Purpose Society (LAMPS).

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