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Opinion

Bihar government ends subsidy for 63 agricultural implements

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Farmers in Bihar will have to update their list of agricultural implements to buy under the government subsidy program, as the state government has removed up to 63 pieces of equipment for this prosecutor from the list.

A senior agriculture department official familiar with the matter said the state government approved 17 farm implements, down from 81 last year, for which farmers would receive a subsidy.

“This year’s agricultural mechanization campaign focuses on waste management to reduce the challenges of burning stubble or husks that often lead to prolonged air pollution in the state,” he said.

Stubble burning has been a major problem that Bihar has been grappling with in recent years. The state government has taken tough action against 900 farmers in the last three months after the rice harvest season by blocking government incentives and subsidies paid through direct benefit transfer (DBT) for three years in 11 districts.

Bihar is the only state in India where such a system has been implemented since last year, linking government incentives for farmers to compliance with the stubble burning ban, considered one of the main contributors to the air pollution.

The official also said that the huge cut in the subsidy was also attributed to the financial strain the state was experiencing due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The size of the head of the state plan for subsidy for agricultural mechanization has been reduced to Rs 23.69 crore in 2020-21 against Rs 163 crore in the last fiscal year. While the state government offers subsidies for 17 equipment, the central government grants subsidies to farmers on another 16 implements under different schemes, ”said the official.

The state government has already discontinued the subsidy for the combine, which left the straw in the field after the wheat was grown. Now, farmers would not receive the financial support to buy plows, threshers, etc. However, the subsidy would continue on purchases of brush cutter, super seeder, happy seeder, self-propelled ripper, straw ripper, straw handling system, and mini rice and oil mills.

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