Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA) is a transformative agricultural scheme introduced in 2018 under the aegis of the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare in India. This innovative program was born from the pressing need to secure equitable and remunerative prices for the hardworking farmers of the nation. PM-AASHA is a beacon of hope, designed to alleviate the economic challenges faced by those who toil tirelessly to feed the nation.
- Scheme Modified: Launched in 2018.
- Scheme Fund Allocated: Variable, depending on the agricultural production and procurement requirements.
- Type of Government Scheme: A Central Government initiative, striving to uplift the agricultural sector of India.
- Sponsored / Sector Scheme: PM-AASHA operates within the domain of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
- Website to apply: PM-AASHA primarily involves physical procurement and direct payment to farmers, so there is no separate application website.
- Helpline No: Specific helpline numbers may be provided by respective state agricultural departments.
Here’s a comprehensive look at the critical features of Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA).
Price Support Scheme (PSS)
- PSS focuses on direct procurement of essential crops such as pulses, oilseeds, and Copra from pre-registered farmers when market prices fall below the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
- Central Nodal Agencies collaborate with state governments to execute PSS operations.
- The Food Corporation of India (FCI) plays a crucial role in the efficient functioning of the PSS.
- The Central Government shoulders the procurement expenditure and covers losses up to 25% of the production.
Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS)
- PDPS encompasses all oilseeds for which MSP is notified.
- It guarantees direct payment of the difference between MSP and the actual selling price directly into the registered bank accounts of farmers.
- Unlike PSS, PDPS doesn’t involve physical procurement of crops, streamlining the process.
Pilot of Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PPPS)
- PPPS is introduced on a pilot basis for oilseeds in select districts.
- It bears similarities to PSS, but with the notable inclusion of private stockists.
- Private agencies are authorized to procure commodities at MSP when market prices dip below the MSP.
- To ensure fair practices, service charges are capped at 15% of the notified MSP.
Latest News about the scheme
Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA) continues to remain in the spotlight as an instrumental tool in protecting farmers’ income and ensuring they receive fair prices for their produce. The scheme is subject to periodic updates and modifications to better cater to the evolving needs of the agricultural sector.
- Ensuring Fair Prices: PM-AASHA guarantees Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for crops, providing a safety net for farmers. This assurance helps prevent exploitation by middlemen and ensures that farmers receive a reasonable price for their produce.
- Price Stability: The scheme’s Price Support Scheme (PSS) component involves direct procurement of crops when market prices fall below MSP. This intervention stabilizes prices and helps maintain income levels for farmers, reducing income volatility.
- Direct Payments: The Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS) offers direct payments to farmers. This eliminates the need for physical procurement, reducing the logistical challenges associated with traditional procurement schemes. Farmers receive the difference between MSP and market prices directly into their bank accounts.
- Private Sector Involvement: The Pilot of Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PPPS) encourages private players to participate in procurement. This can lead to more competitive markets, better price discovery, and efficient procurement processes.
- Reduced Financial Burden: Under the PSS and PDPS, the central government bears a portion of the procurement expenses and losses, reducing the financial burden on state governments and farmers.
- Flexibility for States: States and Union Territories have the flexibility to choose between PSS and PDPS based on the specific agricultural needs of their regions and the crops in question.
- Technology Integration: The direct benefit transfer (DBT) model for PDPS ensures that farmers receive payments directly into their bank accounts, leveraging technology to streamline the process.
- Limited Crop Coverage: PM-AASHA primarily covers pulses, oilseeds, and Copra. While these are important crops, it doesn’t address the needs of all agricultural produce. Some crop categories may be left out, potentially leaving farmers of those crops without the benefits of the scheme.
- Operational Challenges: The successful implementation of the scheme relies on efficient procurement, logistics, and timely payments. Inadequate infrastructure and operational challenges in some regions can hinder the scheme’s effectiveness.
- Administrative Overhead: The management of the scheme involves significant administrative overhead, including the registration of farmers, monitoring of procurement, and direct payment processing. These tasks can be resource-intensive.
- Market Distortions: Price interventions through PSS can lead to market distortions, as government agencies are procuring large quantities of produce, potentially crowding out private traders and limiting price discovery in the open market.
- Resource Allocation: The funds allocated to PM-AASHA can be substantial. Ensuring the efficient allocation of resources and preventing misuse is a critical challenge for the government.
- Dependency on Government: While the scheme provides critical support, it can lead to farmers’ dependency on government intervention for price stability and income security, which is not a long-term sustainable solution.
Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA) stands as a beacon of hope for the agricultural community of India, working tirelessly to feed the nation. With its multifaceted approach encompassing price support, deficiency payments, and private procurement, PM-AASHA aims to provide a secure and prosperous environment for our farmers, ultimately strengthening the backbone of the nation’s economy. This visionary initiative is emblematic of the government’s commitment to ensuring the well-being of its agrarian heroes.