PUDUCHERRY: At a time when farmers are agitating over the three new farm laws brought in by the central government, the Puducherry government has come up with a new scheme.
"Nammazhvar Agriculture rejuvenation scheme" providing a backend subsidy to farmers cultivating sugarcane was launched by Agriculture Minister R Kamalakannan on Tuesday.
Under the scheme, the first of its kind for sugarcane cultivation, an incentive of Rs 10,000 per acre is being provided to cane farmers of Puducherry through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) at an outlay of Rs 1.70 crores. In all 839 farmers will benefit from it this year.
The scheme will replace the provisions of saplings, fertilizers (gypsum, zinc sulphate and others) and saplings by the government.
Sometimes there is a delay in providing these inputs and this affects cultivation, or there is pilferage too affecting the farmers, said Kamalakannan.
Besides, PASIC which used to supply inputs to the farmers is not functional anymore. The government feels there is also little need to handhold farmers now when it comes to farming since they are well versed in the techniques.
So, the government is providing the backend subsidy that covers one-fourth of the expenses incurred in cultivating sugarcane crops, he said adding that the cost of cultivation is around Rs 40,000 to 50,000 per acre. The farmers can decide the variety of sugarcane crop they wish to cultivate.
In all 820 farmers(General category) are involved in sugarcane cultivation in an area of 1677.15 acres (670.86 hectares) for which the government has earmarked Rs 1,67,71,500 (Rs 1.68 crores approximately).
In addition, another 19 scheduled caste farmers are cultivating the crop in 30.70 acres and they will be provided Rs 3,07,000(Rs 3.07 lakhs).
All the farmers belong to Puducherry as sugarcane is cultivated in the region only and not in Karaikal, Mahe or Yanam regions.
The Agriculture department is already providing backend subsidy for cultivation of paddy, banana, pulses, coconut and other crops.