Ramakanta Biswas

Hundreds of farmers in Gunupur of Rayagada district were allegedly tricked into buying a new type of farm card named ‘Kishan Sabha’ with false assurance of government entitlements. 

As per reports, a group of local youths allegedly sold the cards to the residents of Lungurutal for Rs 200 a piece. The youths claimed that farmers can avail loan, subsidies and other government benefits with the help of the cards. Each family at the village was reportedly tricked into buying two or more cards. 

“A Didi from nearby area had come to our village to distribute Kisan Sabha cards. She assured that apart from loans and crop insurance we can avail subsidy on fertiliser and seeds with the cards. She charged Rs 200 per card,” alleged a Sanjib Sabar, a villager.

The district agriculture department clarified that the government has not issued any such cards for farmers.

“No such card in the name of Kishan Sabha is being distributed to farmers. We have not received any such instructions. We have received the complaint from Gunupur block. The block agriculture officer, Krushak Sathi and VLWs have advised farmers not to buy such cards,” said Bishnu Prasad Sahu, the district agriculture officer at Gunupur. 

Meanwhile, Dushil Karkaria, the regional coordinator of Krushak Sabha card denied any fraud in the scheme. 

“We are from Gunupur sub-division and why would we defraud our own people? This is a government project and is being undertaken everywhere. Therefore, we started it in our area. If it turned out to be a fake scheme, we will reach out to the farmers and apologise to them,” he said.