The agriculture and related sector, supported by the Telangana government’s income support and crop insurance schemes for farmers, has contributed significantly to the economic growth of the state since 2016-2017.
According to state government data, about 6.3 million farmers have so far received Rs 50,000 crore under the Rythu Bandhu scheme launched in 2018. The central government has emulated the Rythu Bandhu and has launched Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM Kisan) in 2019.
Under the Rythu Bandhu scheme, the state government credited Rs 5,000 per acre per season to the bank accounts of landlord farmers before the rabi and kharif seasons.
The state reported a robust growth rate in agriculture and related sector gross value added (GVA) at current prices of 12.24% and 9.09% in 2020-21 and 2021-22, respectively. Agriculture and related sectors of the state have remained strong throughout the pandemic.
“This has been achieved through a multitude of factors, including new irrigation systems such as the Kaleshwaram Lift and Mission Kakatiya irrigation project, and innovative agricultural support policies such as the Rythu Bandhu schemes, Rythu Bima and free 24×7 power supply for agriculture and allied sector,” according to the state government.
Rythu Bima was launched in 2018 with the aim of providing financial assistance and social security to dependents in the event of the loss of a farmer’s life.
The entire premium is borne by the state government, while all farmers, regardless of farm size, are eligible for the insurance scheme.
In case of death of the registered farmer for any reason whatsoever, the insured amount of Rs 500,000 is transferred to the designated bank account within 10 days. According to TSEC, since 2018-2019, the state government has settled claims amounting to Rs 3,763 crore and transferred the amount to 75,276 bereaved families.
“Policies like the Rythu Bandhu program have not only benefited the primary sector, but also trickled down to the secondary and tertiary sectors,” TSEC said. He said the direct transfer of benefits to farmers’ bank accounts under Rythu Bandhu has resulted in increased cash in the hands of farming households.
“This in turn has been used by farmers to purchase goods produced by the industrial sector and to benefit from services, thus creating ripple effects for the non-agricultural sector as well,” the government said.
According to data from the State Civil Supplies Corporation, on the procurement front, government agencies in Telangana purchased 25.24 million tonnes (MT) of paddy and 3.95 MT of cotton at the minimum support price in 2019-20. and 2020-21.
The state also reported an increase of about 27% in paddy purchases in 2020-21 compared to 2019-20. With a livestock population growth of 22.21% between the 19th and 20th livestock census (2012 and 2019 respectively), the state has been leading the growth of livestock population in the country.