No accurate data on the total count of farmers in India with the government: Report

As per the research reports of ‘The Hindu’, only 9 crore farmer families have been identified during provisioning for PM-KISAN in the last one year while the Centre counted 14.5 crore farmer families in the Agriculture census reports.

While cores of rupees are spent every year on food subsidy and on subsiding farm inputs, but there is no accurate record of these farmers or their total count. Moreover, even if one assumes the number of left-out farmers to be 1.5-2 crore, the numbers still do not add up to 14.5 crores, the report said. 

Although the central government has been constantly talking about farmers’ development and initiating different welfare schemes but has miserably failed to record the proper accurate data of these farmers, research revealed. 

As per the Agriculture Census 2015-16, Uttar Pradesh has 2,382 crore agriculture landholdings – the highest in the country, followed by Bihar – 1.641 crore, Maharashtra – 1.529 crore, Madhya Pradesh – 1.0 crore, Karnataka – 0.8 crore, Andhra Pradesh – 0.852 crore, Tamil Nadu – 0.794 crore and the remaining in other States. However, the number of farmers registered for PM-Kisan is much less in the above states.  

According to statistics, against the 1.64 crore farmer families of Bihar as per the Census claims, only 52.5 lakh farmers have been traced by the State government and data provided to the Centre. In the case of Maharashtra, where the Census said there are 1.5 crore operational landholdings, only 86.7 lakh farmers are on record now.

On the other hand, against the 1 crore farmer holdings in Madhya Pradesh, only 55.05 lakh farmers are registered for PM-Kisan. Moreover, the high farmer’s populated state UP shows the registration of 2 crore farmers, against the Census number of 2.38 crore farmer families, for the scheme.  One reason could be that the State governments were not able to make a list of all their farmers in one year (West Bengal has not yet provided even partial data of its farmers till now). Or, it could well be that the actual number of farmers in the country is lower than 14.5 crores.

On the other hand, it should be noted that the rest of farmers not able to get the benefit of the scheme either poor implementation or the lack of awareness at the grassroots level. 

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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