The Maharashtra government will be doubling the honorarium for farmers to Rs 12,000 per year. Finance Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday allocated roughly Rs 30,000 crore for sustainable farming and farmer prosperity schemes, including the Namo Shetkari Mahasamman Nidhi to double the honorarium for farmers to Rs 12,000 per year. This is likely the largest package for farmers in the recent past.

In addition to providing incentives to help paddy growers and farmers who have taken out short loans with their debt, the state would also give farmers money for crop insurance. The state would match the Rs 6,000 per farmer per year provided by the centre under the PM Kisan Scheme under the honorarium plan. “This will result in an annual deposit of Rs 12,000 into the farmer’s account. The 1.15 crore farmer families will gain from this. In 2023–2024, a budget of Rs. 6,900 crores is suggested for this,” Fadnavis stated in his address to the assembly on the budget.

In the Pradhan Mantri Crop Insurance Program of 2016 of the Centre, 2% of the premium is paid by the farmer, but according to Fadnavis, who is also the deputy chief minister, the state will now pay the premium for the farmer’s portion. The state government will invest Rs 3,312 crore annually in this programme, according to Fadnavis.

Farmers who regularly repay short-term loans would receive an incentive of up to Rs 50,000 under the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Shetkari Karjmukti Yojana, which was mentioned in the previous two budgets but was never given out.

At the end of February 15, Rs 4,683 crore had been directly transferred to the bank accounts of 12.84 lakh qualified account holders. Fadnavis stated that an integrated crop-based strategy for taluka and district-wise groups of farmers will be funded with an outlay of Rs 3,000 crore over five years for value-addition processes in crops and fruit crops.

In 14 disaster-affected districts of Vidarbha and Marathwada, he claimed, cash rather than food grains would be transferred into farmers’ Aadhaar-linked bank accounts. This would cost Rs 1,800 per person per year.

Without considering how much paddy has been sold, Fadnavis proposed an incentive of Rs. 15,000 per hectare to paddy farmers depending on the area under cultivation for the Kharif season of 2022–23.

For those who need them, an investment of Rs 1,000 crore was made in orchards, drip irrigation, paddy fields, paddy linings, shed nets, greenhouses, new sowing machines, and cotton shredders.

Konkan has established a cashew board with a share capital of Rs 200 crore. Processing facilities for kaju bondu will also be built. In the Konkan, Chandigarh, and Azra talukas of the Kolhapur district, a “Cashew Fruit Development Program” would be put into place to help farmers from cultivation through processing and sale.

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