Thiruvananthapuram: The prestigious Kerala Farmers Welfare Fund Board, introduced during the first ministry of Pinarayi Vijayan, failed to find sufficient momentum. Although the registration of farmers is progressing slowly, the regional offices are not open and the Council’s activities are uncoordinated.
The file, prepared by Isaac and the Minister of Agriculture at the time, VS Sunil Kumar, has not yet received final approval from the government. It was postponed due to the code of conduct for assembly polls. The file is still in the finance department.
The law establishing the Council was passed in 2019. It entered into force in October 2020. After a year and a half, only 14,000 members have started to pay their share. Another 40,000 are in various stages of enrolment. The target was to register four lakh farmers in the first year. The government hoped that at least 20 lakh farmers would join the Council in the first phase.
Meanwhile, other welfare councils have expressed concern that their members will go to the new council because of its provisions. The board offers nine dividends such as a maximum pension of up to Rs 5,000, medical expenses, and disability and childbirth allowances. Any farmer who owns 5 cents to 15 acres of land, who has been farming for the last three years and who depends on farming for his 60% income can join the Commission.