Farming as part of India’s culture and civilisation

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Agriculture has been an integral part of Indian political-religious thought. Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic of India, mentioned in one of his speeches that “today the rulers have to be as committed to the welfare of people as Videhraja Janaka (the father of Goddess Sita). During the time of famine, he could plough the field himself because he did not differentiate between the ruler and the ruled.” One day Raja Janak was farming in the field in his empire, where he found a baby girl. Since she was found while farming in the field, the girl was named Sita, and later she married Lord Rama. The government has implemented various schemes and programmes aimed at enhancing farmers’ well-being, increasing production and ensuring remunerative returns.

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These initiatives include the PM-KISAN income support scheme, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), institutional credit for the agriculture sector, setting Minimum Support Prices (MSP), promoting organic farming, and initiatives like Per Drop More Crop. Launched in 2019, the PM-KISAN scheme provides income support of ₹6,000 per year to farmers. An impressive sum of over ₹2.81 lakh crore has been disbursed to more than 11 crore farmers as of November 30, 2023. The PMFBY, initiated in 2016, has enrolled 49.44 crore farmer applications, with claims reaching over ₹1,46,664 crore, benefiting over 14.06 crore farmers.

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