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Govt launches SMAM to provide subsidies on agri implements & machinery
Wednesday, 12 February, 2020, 14 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
Improved agricultural implements and machinery are essential inputs for modern agriculture. It enhances productivity besides reducing human drudgery and cost of cultivation. It also helps in improving utilisation efficiency of other inputs.

Taking into consideration the above, to boost the farm mechanisation in the country, a special dedicated scheme, Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM), has been introduced by Government, under which subsidy is provided for purchase of various types of agricultural implements and machinery used for tillage, sowing, planting, harvesting, reaping, threshing, plant protection, inter-cultivation and residue management.

A special scheme to support the efforts of the Governments of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the NCT (National Capital Territory) of Delhi to address air pollution due to stubble burning and to subsidise machinery for the farmers for in-situ management of crop residue, a new Central Sector Scheme on Promotion of Agricultural Mechanisation for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi (CRM) for the period from 2018-19 to 2019-20 has been also launched.

Some of the state governments like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh are providing farm machineries to the farmers at a concessional rate through their agricultural departments.

However, to make available costly and bigger advance farm machinery at the door steps of the farmers on rent basis, the Government is promoting custom hiring centres (CHCs) through a SMAM scheme; under which subsidy is provided @ of 40 per cent of the project cost to individual farmer upto a project cost of Rs 60 lakh and 80 per cent to the group of farmers upto a project cost of Rs 10 lakh.

A special consideration for the farmers of North Eastern Region (NER) is available, 95 per cent subsidy upto a project cost of Rs 10 lakh is provided to group of NER farmers for establishment of CHCs.

For establishment of high-tech and high-value agricultural machinery CHC,  assistance @ of 40 per cent of the project cost to individual farmer upto a project cost of Rs 250 lakh is provided.

Under the CRM scheme to establish custom hiring of in-situ crop residue management machinery a financial assistance @ 80 per cent of the project cost is provided to the farmers.

The Government has also developed and launched multi-lingual mobile app CHC- farm machinery, which helps the farmers for getting rented farm machinery and implements through CHCs in their area.

As on date, 44,607 CHCs with 1,39,319 agricultural machinery for renting out are registered on this mobile app. A total of 1,14,461 farmers as users are registered on this mobile app.

The government has introduced the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) Scheme, which enables farmers to purchase agricultural inputs and draw cash to satisfy their agricultural and consumption needs.

The KCC Scheme has since been simplified and converted into ATM-enabled RuPaydebit card with, inter alia, facilities of one-time documentation, built-in cost escalation in the limit, any number of drawals within the limit, etc.

With a view to ensure availability of agriculture credit at a reduced interest rate of seven per cent per annum to the farmers, an interest subvention scheme for short-term crop loans upto Rs 3 lakh is implemented.

The scheme provides interest subvention of two per cent per annum to banks on use of their own resources. Besides, additional three per cent incentive is given to the farmers for prompt repayment of the loan, thereby reducing the effective rate of interest to four per cent.

This information was given in a written reply by Narendra Singh Tomar, minister of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
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