Kannur in action plan for rollout of DBT in fertilisers

Aadhaar-enabled Point of Sale devices to ensure direct access

Kannur being one of the 16 districts chosen as pilot districts for implementation of the direct benefit transfer (DBT) in fertilisers, an action plan has been chalked out for its launch on a trial basis by mid-January next year.

The Department of Fertilisers of the Central government has introduced the scheme that envisages Aadhaar-enabled Point of Sale (PoS) devices (card-swiping devices for payment) at the selling points to ensure that farmers have direct access to subsidised fertilisers. The rollout of the project across the country will be in 2017, following the completion of the pilot project in selected districts.

A press release issued by District Collector Mir Mohammed Ali in Kannur said that a committee had been formed for close monitoring of the project implementation. Apart from him as the chairman of the committee, it comprises representatives of all stakeholders, he said.

Major role for FACT

Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd. (FACT), being a leading fertiliser supplier in the State, is identified as the major stakeholder and implementing agency. Other members in the committee include the Principal Agricultural Officer, District Informatics Officer of the National Informatics Centre, and the Akshaya Mission district project manager.

Special campaigns

The Collector said that all beneficiary farmers should have Aadhaar numbers to avail themselves of the subsidy. Special campaigns for Aadhaar enrolment of farmers will be held in areas where they are necessary. Blockwise training for retailers will be conducted next week, he said, adding that the Agriculture Department and fertiliser manufacturers would coordinate training sessions. NIC District Informatics Officer Andrews Varghese said the PoS machine was operated through Aadhaar-based authentication/identification. Sales would occur in real time and bills would be generated online for fertilisers purchased. Only Aadhaar-enabled PoS channel would be available in the future for purchasing subsidised fertilisers.