Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan
PM AASHA Yojna was launched in September 2018 and is a part of the broader bouquet of schemes. Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan’s main motive was to give reasonable prices and keep farmers and harvest/produce in mind. PM-AASHA was launched by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar, in the Lok Sabha in September 2018.
There has always been a wide discontinuity in implementing farmer-friendly initiatives by the Government. To highlight and tackle farmers’ issues, the Government has taken a new step by ensuring reasonable prices for the farmers owing to their harvest or produce. The current scheme is essential to the government’s pro-farmer initiatives and keeps their consistency and dedication to Ananda. Pradhan Mantri Annadata AAY Sanrakshan Abhiyan seeks to help protect farmers’ income and promote their welfare.
The Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan Scheme:
PM AASHA, a catch-all phrase that refers to various farmer-focused programs, guarantees that farmers are paid for their harvests. Additionally, the Government of India implemented this program in response to the farmers’ dissatisfaction due to susceptible agricultural commodities trading below the Minimum Support Price (MSP). There are three features of this scheme – Price Support Scheme (PSS), Pilot of Private Procurement and Stockist Schemes (PPPS), and Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS). All states are free to enforce any of the three components of PM AASHA.
Objective of PM Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan Scheme:
- The Centre’s old MSP and the procurement system must be revised due to numerous flaws. The existing MSP procurement system has a relatively limited geographic and crop coverage, according to studies by NITI Aayog and other organizations.
- The agricultural situation persists despite millions of rupees being spent annually on MSP operations.
- The AASHA program aims to close gaps in the MSP system and improve farmer returns. Additionally, it pledges to use PDP to address the issues in the procurement system.
Functioning of PM Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan:
- By PM-AASHA, States and UTs are given the option to select between PSS or PDPS during a specific procurement season about a specific oilseeds harvest for the State as a whole. Under PSS, pulses along with copra are purchased.
- States can implement the PPSS on a pilot basis or foundation in districts or chosen APMCs in the neighborhood with the involvement of private oilseed stockists.
Advantages Of PM Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan:
Following are the ways the scheme benefits the farmers:
- The PM – AASHA system suggests an original, MSP-plus solution to the issue of noncompensatory prices.
- The three distinct components would fill the gaps in buying and compensating crops.
- By guaranteeing farmers a higher income, the PM-AASHA scheme also aids in reviving the economy of the rural areas.
- This plan may guarantee crop diversity and lessen the strain on soil and water by providing better prices across crops.
- There is no longer a need to deal with the difficulty of physical acquisition, storage, and disposal thanks to the development of PM-AASHA.
Challenges of the PM Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan:
Implementation of the PM AASHA scheme faced specific challenges, which are listed below:
- The awareness of the MSP was limited to 24% of households in a few different states. Several surveys and studies showed that MSPs only function in some states.
- Other than rice and wheat, the number of products produced by designated state governments was limited, which led to low awareness.
- NITI Aayog has played a very dominant role in providing accurate analyses, but it was also observed that several states considered it inadequate.
How To Overcome Challenges?
- A Gramin Agricultural Market (GrAM) was constructed to encourage 22,000 retail stores near the farm gate.
- Through e-NAM and a pro-farmer robust export policy, APMC engages in competitive and transparent wholesale trading.
- The implementation of pro-farmer programs, including the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY), as well as the spread of Soil Health Cards has been done.
To give cash credit facilities to Central Nodal Agencies NAFED and FCI for purchasing pulses, oilseeds, and copra at a Minimum Support Price, the Government has issued a Government Guarantee of INR 40,500/- cr (MSP). Central Nodal Agencies withhold the necessary monies against the Government Guarantee to pay farmers their Minimum Support Price (MSP) value and cover other incidental expenses related to the PSS activities.
The PM-AASHA has been aiming to improve procurement centers concerning dining yards, weighing bridges, etc. It has also been realized that more godown and storage facilities are to be constructed to reduce wastage. Lastly, NITI Aayog recommends that the infrastructure for procurement is crucial for the success of any farmer-oriented welfare scheme.