Five years for path-breaking Rythu Bandhu scheme, a boon to farmers

The Telangana Rythu Bandhu scheme which was rolled out in May 2018 completed five years today. The scheme is the brainchild of CM KCR and was started with the noble intention to prevent the Telangana farmers from running from pillar to post for credit support. 

To provide input assistance to farmers, which is a very critical aspect during farming, the Telangana government started the scheme by providing Rs. 4,000 per acre during two crop seasons. Later, the amount was increased to Rs. 5,000 per acre. 

Unlike anywhere in the country, the farmers in Telangana receive Rs. 10,000 per acre every year as investment support. So far, an amount of Rs. 65,197 crores has been disbursed into the accounts of around 65 lakh beneficiary farmers. However, the significant aspect of the scheme is that around 91% of the farmers own land of less than 5 acres and 98.6% of farmers hold land of less than 10 acres. This highlights the fact that the scheme is of immense benefit to small and marginal farmers.

Following Telangana, many states and even the central government have emulated the scheme. But Rythu Bandhu is unmatched when compared to other similar schemes. The assistance provided through Rythu Bandhu is comparatively higher than the amounts disbursed in other states. 

The unique scheme, Rythu Bandhu, was lauded by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO) and NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), the policy think-tank of the Government of India. In a report published in June 2021, NITI Aayog stated that the Rythu Bandhu scheme is a landmark initiative that has helped in stabilizing farmer incomes and improving their livelihoods. 

By: Mythreya Kodakandla