Along with the poor, youth, and women, annadata or farmers constitute a part of the populace which the Narendra Modi government has a special focus on. PM Modi has already made it clear that these four sections of Indian society will always be his priority and his government’s programmes and policies will be drawn up keeping their welfare in mind.
The PM popularised the practice of calling Indian farmers “annadatas”. In line with this, the government has implemented several schemes under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership to improve the lives of farmers by providing financial security, skill development, market access, and sustainable agricultural practices. Some of these schemes are :
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)
PM-Kisan, initiated in 2019, is an income-support scheme designed to assist small and marginal farmers. Under this scheme, eligible farmers receive direct financial assistance of Rs 6,000 annually in three equal instalments. This scheme has significantly boosted their income and improved their quality of life. Under PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi, direct financial assistance is provided to 11.8 crore farmers, including marginal and small farmers.
Minimum Support Price (MSP)
The Government of India fixes a minimum support price (MSP) for 22 mandated crops on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), views of state governments, and the central ministries/departments concerned. The government in its union budget for 2018-19 had announced the pre-determined principle to keep MSP at levels of one and a half times the cost of production. Accordingly, MSPs for all mandated crops for kharif, rabi, and other commercial crops have been increased with a return of at least 50 per cent over the all-India weighted average cost of production from the agricultural year 2018-19.
In the last 10 years, farmers have received nearly Rs 18 lakh crore as MSP for paddy and wheat crops. This is 2.5 times more than the preceding 10 years before 2014. In the last decade, farmers producing oilseeds and pulses have received over Rs 1.25 lakh crore as MSP.
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
Launched in 2016, PMFBY offers comprehensive crop insurance coverage to farmers at affordable premiums. It ensures timely compensation for crop losses caused by natural calamities, pests, or diseases. This scheme has brought financial security and stability to millions of farmers, safeguarding their livelihoods. Crop insurance is given to 4 crore farmers under PM Fasal Bima Yojana.
Soil Health Card Scheme
Launched in 2015, the Soil Health Card Scheme provides personalised soil health reports to farmers, offering valuable insights on soil nutrients and recommendations for balanced fertilisation. By promoting proper soil management practices, this scheme has optimised yields, reduced input costs, and enhanced soil health across agricultural lands. Since 2014-15, a total of 8,272 soil testing labs have been established across the country. So far, 23.58 crore soil health cards have been distributed to farmers.
e-NAM (electronic-National Agriculture Market)
Launched in 2016, e-NAM is an electronic trading portal that integrates agricultural markets throughout India. It enables farmers to sell their produce online, discover competitive prices, and connect with buyers across the nation. This digital platform has revolutionised agricultural trade, eliminating intermediaries, ensuring transparency, and providing fair market access to farmers. e-NAM has integrated 1,361 mandis, and is providing services to 1.8 crore farmers with a trading volume of 3 lakh crore. So far, around 8,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) have been formed.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samriddhi Kendras
It is an initiative of the department of fertilisers launched in August 2022 to provide quality agri-inputs like fertilisers, seeds, and pesticides at reasonable prices under one roof. It also provides soil testing services and renders advisory services to farmers to improve their farm practices and yield. To date, the government has established more than 1.75 lakh Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samriddhi Kendras.
Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana
This is an umbrella scheme incorporating ongoing programmes of the ministry like Mega Food Parks, Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure, etc. SAMPADA stands for ‘Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana has benefitted 38 lakh farmers and generated employment for 10 lakh people. The Modi government is promoting private and public investment in post-harvest activities including aggregation, modern storage, efficient supply chains, primary and secondary processing, marketing and branding.
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
Introduced in 2015, PMKVY aims to provide skill training to farmers and the rural youth. Implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), this scheme has empowered over 40 million farmers and rural youth by equipping them with essential agricultural skills, improving productivity, and generating employment opportunities.
Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana
A scheme to bring about the Blue Revolution through sustainable and responsible development of the fisheries sector in India at an estimated investment of Rs 20,050 crore for holistic development of the fisheries sector including welfare of fishers.
Schemes for Dairy Development and Animal Husbandry
India is the world’s largest milk producer but with low productivity of milch animals. The programme will be built on the success of existing schemes such as the Rashtriya Gokul Mission, National Livestock Mission, and Infrastructure Development Funds for dairy processing and animal husbandry.
The mission of PM Modi is to empower farmers, make agriculture free of middlemen, give direct access to the market, and above all self-sufficiency to tackle any emergency. All these schemes were implemented in a mission mode during the decade 2014-24.
Also, officials said, PM Modi who never backs out from the process of reforms withdrew three progressive bills citing inputs that extremist elements had infiltrated protesting farmer groups. This happened when farmers from a couple of states agitated at Delhi’s borders against the farm bills. Officials said the PM himself indicated that he didn’t want farmers to suffer because of these extremist elements. The bills were eventually withdrawn in farmers’ interest and proved PM Modi’s care and concern for them.