PM Modi announced a big move to empower women farmers. The Prime Minister will soon launch a drone scheme benefiting 5,000 Self Help Groups over four years.
PM Modi has taken a significant step toward empowering women in agriculture. The Prime Minister is launching a plan with a drone scheme that will help out 5,000 Women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs) over the next four years. The Union Cabinet, chaired by PM Modi, nodded to the scheme, which aims to provide drones to these groups for rental services to farmers. Under this initiative, the central government will offer 80% assistance for the cost of drones and related charges, up to a maximum of Rs 8 lakh. The estimated capital outlay for the scheme is Rs 1,261 crore over the next four years, with drone distribution scheduled between 2023-24 and 2025-2026.
Union Minister Anurag Thakur speaking about the scheme, emphasized its significance in the ‘lakhpati didi’ initiative by PM Modi. Thakur highlighted the important role of drones in enhancing efficiency in agricultural practices such as fertilizer and pesticide spraying. Also for the effective utilization of the drones, members of SHGs will undergo a five-day mandatory drone pilot training, along with an additional 10-day training focused on agricultural applications of nutrients and pesticides.
In another positive development, the Union Cabinet extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for an additional five years. This scheme was introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic. This scheme provides free grains to eligible citizens under the public distribution scheme. Ration card holders are entitled to receive an additional five kg of grains (wheat or rice) of their choice, along with the distribution of Chana as part of the supplementary food program.
Prime Minister Modi also said that the government intends to extend PMGKAY during recent election rallies. Launched in April 2020, the scheme has been extended in seven consecutive phases, initially planned for three months from April to June 2020 and later extended until December 2022.