Rajasthan tops the list in solar water pump installations, a state agriculture department official has claimed.
More than 62,000 farmers have directly benefited from the scheme introduced by the Ashok Gehlot government four-and-a-half years ago.
According to the government initiative, farmers in Rajasthan are encouraged to install solar pumps for irrigation, instead of relying on electricity connections and diesel powered plants.
“Rajasthan tops the list in setting up solar water pumps. A large chunk of farmers are now no longer dependent on electricity to irrigate their fields as the state government is encouraging farmers by offering 60 per cent subsidy for installing solar pumps”, a state agriculture department official said.
Besides this, farmers of SC/ST in the state are getting an additional subsidy of Rs 45,000, and in the tribal sub-plan areas, there is a provision of giving a 100 per cent subsidy on solar water pumps of 3hp and 5hp to farmers of scheduled tribes, the official said.
The official said that in the last 4.5 years (since December 2018), Rs 1,167.52 crore were handed as subsidies to 62,690 farmers for the solar water pumps.
Kabbu Meena, a farmer in Shivdaspura village (Jaipur district), said he set up a 5hp solar pump plant about a year back.
“It has really helped me as I am not dependent on electricity provided by the state government electricity distribution company,” Meena said.
The state government is handing a 75 per cent subsidy on the unit cost to SC/ST, small, marginal and women farmers of the state for installing drip, mini-sprinklers and sprinklers. Other farmers are given 70 per cent of the cost.
In the last 4.5 years, Rs 1071.49 crore was provided as subsidy for setting up irrigation systems to 3,79,472 farmers.
The farmers with these systems have irrigated 5,33,668 hectares in the state.
The state government has provided a Rs 252.89 crore subsidy for sprinklers and a Rs 818.60 crore subsidy for drip systems.
The official said the state also tops in the disbursement of crop insurance claims.
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Since December 2018, the Rajasthan government has disbursed crop insurance claims worth Rs 20,200 crore through a portal on 212 lakh crop insurance policies.
Rajasthan also tops in the production of millets.
The state government has distributed more than 26 lakh free mini kits of bajra to more than 7.91 lakh farmers.