Stimulus to marginal farmers
Following last year's instance, the government's decision to provide inputs to the marginal farmers free of cost in the Aus season is commendable.
Provided the good weather condition persists, it is expected that free distribution of seeds and fertilizer for some 3.5 lakh farmers in 56 districts is expected to produce positive result as before.
Sown in March-April, Aus grows in April-May benefiting from summer rains and is harvested also during summer.
With the increasing use of irrigation, there has been a growing focus on another rice-growing season Boro extending during the dry season from October to March. As a result, Aus cultivation has gradually been facing decline.
Clearly, this is an attempt by the government to promote Aus cultivation among marginal farmers.
It is worthwhile to note that there has been bumper production of crops during the last few years. The credit for it goes mainly to the farmers across the country, whose relentless efforts have reduced the country's dependence on imported rice to a significant degree.
There is also no denying the fact that the incumbent government, especially its agriculture minister's prudent policies have gone to a large extent into making the success.
While appreciating the latest move, we would also stress the need to ensure that the input in the form of seeds and fertilisers reach the right people in right time.
It is good to know that the government has a database about the farmers to receive the stimulus.
But what is more important than just having the data about the farmers is to ensure that the input actually reaches them duly.
So, the imperative will be to ensure a strong monitoring of the distribution of the inputs throughout the entire process until those reach the intended end users.