Krishak Bandhu Scheme :- The agricultural sector is crucial to India’s economy, with more than half of the population relying on agriculture as their primary source of livelihood. However, small and marginal farmers often struggle with poverty and debt due to low productivity and lack of resources. To provide financial support to these farmers, the Government of West Bengal introduced the Krishak Bandhu (Friends of Farmers) scheme in 2018.
Krishak Bandhu Scheme 2023
The Krishak Bandhu scheme aims to provide direct income support to small and marginal farmers in West Bengal.
- To provide financial assistance to farmers owning land up to 2 hectares
- To reduce the cost of cultivation and augment farm productivity
- To prevent distress sale of land due to economic constraints
- To strengthen agriculture and allied activities
The scheme covers land owning farmers having agricultural land up to 2 hectares. Sharecroppers with recorded tenancy rights are also eligible.
- Farmers owning cultivable land up to 2 hectares
- Sharecroppers with recorded tenancy rights
- Land owners should have a bank account with a core banking facility
- Fixed cash transfer of ₹5,000 per acre per year (₹12,500 for 2.5 acres max)
- The amount is transferred in 2 equal installments of ₹2,500 each directly into the bank account
The scheme is funded by the State Government of West Bengal. ₹200 crore was allocated in the first year.
The scheme is being implemented in a phased manner across West Bengal.
- Phase 1 – Birbhum, Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram districts
- Phase 2 – Murshidabad, Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Paschim Medinipur districts
- Phase 3 – Remaining districts
Farmers have to submit relevant documents like Aadhaar card, land records, and bank account details at designated enrollment camps.
The submitted details are verified at multiple levels by various authorities before approval. This ensures only genuine farmers benefit.
The Krishak Bandhu scheme has benefited lakhs of small farmers in various ways:
Financial support – Direct income support provides relief from economic distress and prevents farmers from falling into debt traps.
Increased productivity – With reduced financial constraints, farmers are able to invest more in inputs like seeds, fertilizers etc. leading to higher yields.
Empowerment of farmers – The steady assured income prevents distress sales of land and empowers farmers to make productive investments.
Some key challenges in the implementation of the scheme are:
- Delay in verification and approval of applications
- Lack of awareness among remote farmers
- Exclusion errors leaving out genuinely eligible farmers
- Issues with land records like disputed ownership
The way forward
- Speeding up the verification and approval process through digitization
- Conducting awareness campaigns particularly in remote areas
- Use of technology like drones for accurate land mapping
- Grievance redressal mechanisms for left out farmers
The Krishak Bandhu scheme has provided much needed income support to small and marginal farmers in West Bengal. Timely and hassle-free implementation along with continued funding by the government can help transform the lives of millions of farmers. With some improvements in targeting and delivery, the scheme can achieve its objectives of supporting agriculturists and enhancing farm productivity.
Q1. Who is eligible for Krishak Bandhu scheme?
Farmers owning cultivable land up to 2 hectares and sharecroppers with recorded tenancy rights are eligible.
Q2. What is the financial assistance provided?
Eligible farmers get a fixed amount of ₹5,000 per acre per year paid in 2 installments of ₹2,500 each.
Q3. How is the amount transferred?
The assistance amount is directly transferred to the registered bank accounts of beneficiaries.
Q4. Which farmers does the scheme aim to support?
The scheme aims to provide income support specifically to small and marginal farmers in West Bengal.
Q5. How is the scheme funded?
The Krishak Bandhu scheme is funded entirely by the State Government of West Bengal.