Nearly half the farm households in the country are facing debt burden,according to a government report.
A National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) report on ‘Indebtedness of Farmers Household’ has reported that of 89.35 million farmer households,about 43.42 million (48.6 per cent) were indebted.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told Parliament last week that according to the report,indebted farmers had a liability in cash or kind of Rs 300 or more at the time of the transaction.
The number of indebted farmer households was highest in Andhra Pradesh — 49.49 lakh or about 82 per cent of the estimated farm households in the state.
Other states with high concentration were Tamil Nadu (74.5 per cent),Punjab (65.4 per cent),Kerala (64.4 per cent),Karnataka (61.6 per cent) and Maharashtra (54.8 per cent),the minister said.
To relieve farmers from institutional debt burden,the government has implemented Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme (ADWDRS),2008,Pawar added.
He said that under the scheme,debt waiver/debt relief has been granted to about 3.69 crore farmers involving Rs 65,318.33 crore as per the provisional figure.
The Central government has so far released Rs 51,340.47 crore to the lending institutions as reimbursement under the scheme,Pawar added.