PATNA: In a first in the country, 20,173 farmers of four Bihar districts have been given over Rs 12 crore as advance input subsidy for organic farming of vegetables.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar released the subsidy — Rs 6,000/farmer — into the farmers’ mobile e-wallets at a state agriculture department’s function in Patna on Saturday. Around 5,500 farmers attending the function checked their mobile phones and confirmed on the spot that they had received the message about the transfer of the subsidy money.
The beneficiaries have already been registered with the agriculture department’s online services. They were selected from Patna, Nalanda, Samastipur and Vaishali districts where organic farming has been launched as a pilot project. It will be later extended to other districts along the Ganga.
The noble move is in sync with the state’s third agriculture road map for 2017-22 that envisages promoting organic farming over the next three years.
On the occasion, the CM also launched the renovation of the Krishi Utpadan Bazaar Samiti premises at Purnia, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga. Samastipur, Patna, Kishanganj and Chhapra. He also commissioned the use of Bihar State Seeds Development Corporation building at Sherghati in Gaya for seeds processing and preservation.
The CM said the thrust on organic farming led to production of quality vegetables, which was praised by Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and his wife during their visit to the state.
Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said the agriculture department’s budget increased 123 times from Rs 20 crore in 2005-06 to Rs 2,266 crore in the current fiscal. Others who spoke on the occasion were agriculture minister Prem Kumar, agriculture production commissioner Sunil Kumar Singh and department’s principal secretary Sudhir Kumar.