The Maharashtra government has come up with a scheme, 'Advanced Farming - Enriched Farmer', to increase agricultural production while ensuring profit for the farmer. A government resolution published last week said that under the scheme, varying production targets would be set, keeping in mind that farmers should get more money than their input costs or the amount they have borrowed after selling the produce. The idea is to encourage diversification of crops and avoid excess production which can cause prices of agricultural produce to plummet, said an official. For the farmers who are already earning more than what they borrow at the start of season, the target would be 20 per cent higher than their present production. The government will spend 60 per cent of the funds earmarked for agriculture to promote mechanisation of farming through tractors, power tillers, machines for polishing, grading and packing, etc. Farmers will receive grants or subsidy for purchasing machinery through their Aadhar-linked bank accounts. The government would also increase grants or subsidies for construction of green houses, onion storage sheds, etc. An outreach campaign will be conducted from May 25 to June 8 to inform farmers about new techniques ahead of the coming kharif sowing season. The opposition in Maharashtra is aggressively demanding farm loan waiver.
Opposition Congress and NCP leaders are presently touring the state to press the demand.