Income Support To Farmers: Rs 24,500 Crore Released To 6.5 Crore Beneficiaries Under PM-KISAN, Says Agriculture SecretaryAn Indian farmer relaxes at a grain market near Hamirgarh, Punjab (PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images)

An amount of more than Rs 24,500 crore has been transferred to around 6.5 crore farmers as part of the first instalment payment under the PM Kisan scheme which offers universal basic income to farmers.

Addressing the 3rd India Agricultural outlook forum 2019 with the theme "Universal Basic Income for Farmers" on Thursday (26 September), Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal said that 8.5 crore farmers have already registered for the scheme and an amount of around $3.5 billion (Rs 24,500 crore) has been transferred to about 6.5 crore farmers via the first instalment itself.

According to Agarwal, the extent of income support to the farmers is evident from the fact that about 11 lakh farmers credited the amount of Rs 2,000 through the PM Kisan scheme withdrew the money on the same day of credit.

Elaborating the scheme to the gathering, which consisted of representatives from global organisations and foreign delegates, the Secretary said that beneficiaries are being identified by the state governments and the Central scheme is providing an income support of Rs 6,000 per year to small and marginal farmer families.

Agarwal said that artificial intelligence (AI) and big data can play a great role in the agriculture sector as data is key to targeted development. The government is collating the data on farmers through the registration process for major schemes and landholding details being digitised. Besides, other data on insurance, soil health card and Kisan Credit Card (KCC) information is also being utilized for understanding the actual status of farmers and their cultivation.

In the crop insurance sector, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) envisages the use of improved technology like remote sensing imagery, AI and modelling tools to reduce the time gap for settlement of claims. The PMFBY insurance cover is to the tune of about Rs 24,500 crore annually and covers nearly 2 crore farmers.

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