Union agriculture ministry on Friday said that the Centre had released Rs 19,100.77 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme during the lockdown period since March 24, and that around 95.5 million farmer families had benefitted from the scheme so far.
The Centre provides Rs 6,000 per year to around 140 million farmers, in three equal instalments, under the PM-KISAN scheme, which was announced last year in February.
"Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Scheme during the lockdown period from March 24 till date, about 95.5 million farmer families have benefitted and an amount of Rs 19,100.77 crore has been released so far," the agriculture ministry said in a statement.
The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare said that sowing of summer crops and procurement of rabi crops were going on uninterrupted during the lockdown.
Giving an update on sowing operations for kharif (summer sown) crops, the ministry said about 3.487 million hectares of area had been covered so far under paddy, compared with 2.529 million hectares during the corresponding period last year. About 1.282 million hectares of area was under pulses coverage, compared with 967,000 hectares during the corresponding period last year.
Sowing of coarse cereals had reached about 1.028 million hectares area, compared with 730,000 hectares during the same period last year. About 928,000 hectares area had been sown under oilseeds, against 734,000 hectares in the same period last year, the ministry said.
"A quantity of 589,000 tonnes f gram (chana), 497,000 tonnes of mustard and 499,000 tonnes of toor (arhar) has been procured by NAFED during the lockdown period," the statement said.
In a separate release, the ministry informed about planned activities to expand Integrated Farming Systems (IFS) in rainfed areas. A series of webinars were scheduled by Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare to educate states on the 60 agro-climatic zone wise IFS models developed by ICAR, it said.
The first webinar was held on Friday for Central Plateau and Hills (MP and Rajasthan), Gujarat Plains and Hills and Western Dry Region (Rajasthan).
IFS has tremendous potential for increasing incomes of small farmers from the same plot of land by adopting a multi-tier system of crops, horticulture, poultry, animal husbandry, agroforestry and some value addition too, the statement said.
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