The Telangana government has rolled out a major scheme to help farmers in the state. Under the one-of-its-kind scheme called Rythu Bandhu, a farmer will get Rs 8,000 as crop investment for each acre for two crops every year.
The government plans to spend Rs 12,000 crore every year on this scheme which is expected to benefit 58 lakh farmers.
According to Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, Telangana is the first state in the country to implement such a scheme.
While many have appreciated the scheme and the government for its pro-farmer approach, experts have pointed out that this scheme will be of no help to tenant farmers, who actually need the support of the government. According to them, 13% of the agricultural land in the state is cultivated by the tenant farmers.
"The CM has categorically said that the scheme is only for landowning farmers. Although one needs to appreciate the government for bringing out such a scheme, one needs to examine who will benefit from it,” noted agriculture scientist Ramanjaneyulu said.
"This is the first time that the government is trying to help farmers through means other than input subsidy. Usually all support systems related to farming are embedded into products, which leads to promotion of products. But for the first time, the government is trying to help farmers without tagging any of the products, which is worth appreciating. But the problem is that Telangana has a lot of tenant farmers who are distressed. The incentivization should be for the farmer for whom cultivation is not viable. The government not extending such a scheme to the tenant farmers is a serious worry,” he added.
Another agriculture expert, Ravi Kanniganti, member of the Rythu Swarajya Vedika expressed similar views.
He said that that while the government's pro-farmer approach is worthy appreciating, the exclusion of the vulnerable tenant farmers from the scheme is disappointing.
“All the beneficiaries in this scheme are landlords. These landlords will lease out the land to tenant farmers after availing the Rs 4,000 support money from the government after June. The landlords are already receiving several benefits like getting crop loans which are interest free. Most of these landlords are settled in Hyderabad or America, why should the government help them further? So the government should actually focus on the real cultivators who are tenant farmers,” he said.
“The name of the scheme itself is Rythu Bandhu, but, sadly it won’t be reaching any rythu (farmer) as desired by the government. It is unfair that Rs 12,000 crore from the budget is being diverted towards this scheme which won’t be reaching the actual cultivators,” Ravi lamented.