Aadhaar must for drip irrigation project

Hyderabad: The unique identification number is made mandatory for a farmer willing to apply for drip irrigation project. The Aadhaar linkage would ensure transparency and also avoid the involvement of middlemen. This apart, the use of biometric devices would be initiated to make sure the application is being made by the farmer and not middlemen.

According to senior officials from Horticulture Department, in order to avail the facility with maximum subsidy, the farmers should first approach the Meeseva Centres to apply for the provision of ‘drip irrigation’. Reinforcing the existing mechanism, where farmers apply manually, the officials believe by using a biometric machine the process would become more easy and transparent.

The Aadhaar linkage would ensure no middleman is involved and the subsidy is availed by the farmer himself. This will help in reaching the target of covering 3.15 lakh acres during the period of 2016-18. “All the transactions would henceforth be updated online after the farmer registers online for ‘drip irrigation’ scheme,” a higher official said.

It may be recalled here that in the month of February the Telangana government entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) for a financial assistance in drip irrigation.

As per the MoU, NABARD will provide Rs 874 crore loan to the Telangana government for the supply of drip irrigation equipment to farmers. Given the fact that nearly 43 lakh farmers across the State depend on village tanks and bore wells for cultivation, drip irrigation was essential for optimum
utilisation of groundwater.

After formation of Telangana, the government as a flagship programme had been promoting the micro irrigation project through which drip and sprinkler systems were supplied to the farmers on a subsidy basis.

Before formation of Telangana, the Micro Irrigation Systems (MIS) were sanctioned on a maximum extent of 1 acre with a subsidy ceiling of Rs 1 lakh per farmer. But the Telangana government had announced maximum subsidy of Rs 6 lakh per farmer.

“To achieve this, an amount of Rs 874 crore had been borrowed from NABARD, in addition to Central and State government budgets, the total being Rs 1092 crore for 2 years for an area of 3.15 lakh acres under Micro Irrigation,” added the official.

Under this scheme, the SC and ST farmers are being provided with 100 per cent subsidy, small, medium and BC farmers with 90 per cent subsidy and 80 per cent for others.