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Modi government launches three web portals for farmers

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New Delhi,(IANS): Three web portals: Participatory Guarantee System, India, Soil Health Management System and Fertilizer Quality Control System, were launched on Wednesday by Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh for the benefit of farmers.

Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) portal “www.pgsindia-ncof.gov.in” has been launched to promote domestic organic market growth and enable small and marginal farmers to have easy access to organic certification, a decentralized organic farming certification system,” the agriculture minister said while launching the portal.

The portal has been developed for registration, approval, documentation, record of inspection, and certification for farmers.

Farmers will browse through databases of organic producers to get information about the area under PGS certification with due traceability.

Since it is a group certification program, individual farmers are given certificate as members of a group.

Soil Health Management System (SHMC) will provide assistance to state governments to issue “soil health cards” and also develop a database to improve service delivery.

“It provides improved and targeted guidelines to manage deficiencies and scientific expertise in diagnostic and management of nutrient deficiencies,” he said.

Soil Health Card portal (www.soilhealth.dac.gov.in) has been developed for registration of soil samples, test results of soil samples, and generation of soil health cards along with recommendation of fertilizers.

The SHC promotes uniform adoptions of codes. The system has a sample tracking feature and will provide alerts to farmers about sample registration,” Singh said while launching the portal for SHMC.

The scheme has been approved for implementation during the 12th plan with an outlay of Rs.568.54 crore. For 2015-16 fiscal, Rs.96.46 crore have been allocated.

The scheme will be implemented on 50:50 sharing basis between the central and state governments, the minister added.

Similarly, Fertilizer Quality Control System (FQCS) is aimed to ensure availability of quality fertilizers to farmers.

Launching the portal “www.fqcs.dac.gov.in“, the minister said, “It has been developed for sample collection, testing and generation of analysis reports. The FQCS will help in online tracking of the sample status.”

“In the first phase, the system will be implemented in central coding office and its three regional fertilizer control laboratories (RFCLs). Subsequently, the system will be extended to all state quality control laboratories. ”

“At present, there are 78 notified fertilizer quality control laboratories in the country,” Radha Mohan Singh said.

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Know About The Psychologists Team Helping To Prevent Farmers’ Suicides in Parts of Telangana

"The farmers are victims of circumstances, economic disparity and farm related issues. With no way to repay their loans, they suffer harassment at the hands of private money lenders and banks and the constant worry of how will I repay debts and manage my family haunts them."

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"Sometimes, farmers in distress may not approach us as seeking help is considered a stigma. Then we decided to have field teams who would speak to farmers," she said. Pixabay

Not satisfied with her cozy job at a corporate hospital here, a psychologist joined a team that is helping to prevent farmers’ suicides in parts of Telangana.

Shruti Naik wanted to explore the area of rural distress and found the task more challenging.

Her experience in three districts of Telangana that reported the highest cases of farmers’ suicides in the country has helped her understand the problem.

“I realized how severe the problem is and how misconceptions get propagated in the outside world,” Naik told IANS at the office of the ‘Kisan Mitra’ helpline at Tarnaka here.

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The problems of tenant farmers is a huge issue in Telangana. They are not covered under the ‘Rythu Bandhu’ scheme being implemented by the state government to provide investment support of Rs 8,000 per acre per year. Pixabay

“The farmers are victims of circumstances, economic disparity and farm related issues. With no way to repay their loans, they suffer harassment at the hands of private money lenders and banks and the constant worry of how will I repay debts and manage my family haunts them.”

Kisan Mitra, run by Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, an NGO, provides last mile delivery of services to farmers with respect to their entitlements. It serves as a bridge between government and farmers and tries to see that issues faced by farmers are resolved which otherwise would make them to go into distress.

It was started in 2017 in Vikarabad district at the initiative of then District Collector Divya Devarajan, who suggested that the NGO should take up the matter.

However, they realized that it was not just the helpline which was required.

“Sometimes, farmers in distress may not approach us as seeking help is considered a stigma. Then we decided to have field teams who would speak to farmers,” she said.

The helpline expanded its activity to Adilabad, a backward district bordering Maharashtra, after Devarajan was transferred there as the Collector. Subsequently, it also began its activities in Mancherial district.

“We have so far received 8,000 calls relating to problems like land issues, crop related, payments, loans and banker-related issues. We tried to resolve 4,000 cases. Not all were in distress. The idea is to solve problems before they go into distress,” said Naik.

She heads a team of seven members, all women. The counselors who receive the calls take down the details of the farmers and forward them to the respective field-level coordinators for follow-up.

It is also working with the government to rehabilitate the families of farmers who committed suicide. On International Women’s Day last year in Adilabad district, it called a meeting of 120 widows and their families. They were provided alternative livelihood with the government’s support.

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“If they get some handholding they will do well. If they are helped in areas like minimum support price and if there is some awareness created about debt management, they will not resort to suicides.” Pixabay

The problems of tenant farmers is a huge issue in Telangana. They are not covered under the ‘Rythu Bandhu’ scheme being implemented by the state government to provide investment support of Rs 8,000 per acre per year.

Also Read: The Flamboyant Plastic Waste Boat Reminds The Global Policy-Makers The Urgency To Address Impact Of Plastics on The World’s Marine Environment

Studies show that 75 per cent of farmers who commit suicide in Telangana are tenant farmers. Kisan Mitra has helped 5,000 tenant farmers in Adilabad obtain loan eligibility cards. It negotiated with some bankers to form joint liability groups with 4-5 in each group. The groups were provided loans of Rs 1 lakh each.

Naik believes depression among farmers is a consequence of circumstances and farm and finance related issues. “If they get some handholding they will do well. If they are helped in areas like minimum support price and if there is some awareness created about debt management, they will not resort to suicides,” she said. (IANS)