ROURKELA: Aiming to introduce Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) model in subsidies for agriculture inputs, the registration process has begun to cover subsidised paddy seeds under DBT in the tribal-dominated Sundargarh district.
Sources said under the scheme, a farmer will pay the full market price for the commodity and later the admissible subsidy amount will be transferred to the beneficiary’s bank account. However, in the absence of authentic database of farmers containing identity, land particulars and bank details, the district administration faces a tough task to implement the scheme.
Agriculture authorities apprehend that there would be strong resentment among the left-out farmers who would have to pay the full cost of paddy seeds.
Sundargarh-based Deputy Director of Agriculture (DDA) KN Mohapatra said so far about 3,000 farmers have registered themselves for DBT. The registration process for the scheme would pick up momentum shortly. In the upcoming kharif season, the department has set a target to distribute 30,000 quintals of paddy seeds of three varieties priced at `1,800, `2,000 and `2,500 to farmers, he added.
Mohapatra said the district has about two lakh farmers and half of them are landless share-croppers. For registration of landless share-croppers, the department is taking the help of Large and Multi-Purpose Cooperative Societies (LAMPS), revenue officials and panchayat sarpanches. There won’t be any difficulty in introducing the DBT for subsidy of seeds as 90 per cent of paddy farmers use their own seeds while only 10 per cent depend on subsidised seeds, he said.
However, agriculture officials said the ground realities are different. They said due to several reasons and administrative constraints, majority of farmers are certain to be left out of the DBT registration process which would lead to hue and cry during seed procurement.
Sources in the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department said over a period of two years, only 25,612 farmers, including 824 share-croppers, have been given Farmer Identity Card (FIC) which is mandatory to sell paddy at procurement centres with minimum support price (MSP).
Mohapatra said supply of seeds would continue till June-end and subsequently the DBT model would cover fertiliser subsidy.