Almost 10 months after heavy rain and hailstorms destroyed their crops and the government announced a compensation for them, many farmers in Maharashtra are still waiting for the relief money to reach them.
This is because the government, in absence of a detailed record of farmers and their landholdings in particular regions, is still grappling with how to distribute the funds to affected farmers.
In order to tackle this problem, which crops up after every natural calamity or while implementing a new scheme, the Devendra Fadnavis-led government has decided to build a data bank of farmers.
The data, which will be collected through agencies by visiting every village in the state, will collect details such as farmers’ family constitution, village strength, the type of crops they grow, the quantity of crops, types of cattle they own, insurance, loans taken from banks/moneylenders and the purpose of loans.
“We have put together a form, with inputs from all ministers across departments dealing with farmers and allied activities. This form will be filled in by every farmer in the state, and it will all be fed into an e-database. Today, because of lack of data, ascertainment becomes the biggest problem,” said housing minister Prakash Mehta, who also gave his inputs for the initiative.
After the data base is set up, in case of natural calamities, officials will have the profiles of farmers in the affected area at the click of a button, and will not have to decide the aid on the basis of an estimated data, or on a survey conducted after the incident.
The data will also be linked to the farmers’ bank account, which will be opened through the Jan Dhan Yojana in case they don’t have one.
“We are talking of getting panchanamas done faster, and farmers getting compensation directly into their accounts,” Mehta said.
The process will take off soon, and is likely to be completed within three months from the time it starts.