Tripura’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has launched an ambitious program to promote the cultivation of millets in the state. As part of the United Nations’ International Millet Year, the state is aiming to increase the area under millet cultivation by 700 hectares in the 2023-24 fiscal year, bringing the total area to 2,000 hectares. To achieve this goal, the government has launched several initiatives, including booklets on scientific millet cultivation, camps, and seminars.
According to Aputba Roy, the secretary of the agriculture and farmers’ welfare department, there are currently 1,300 hectares of land under millet cultivation in Tripura. The state has a total of 2.55 lakh hectares of cultivable land, of which 1.19 lakh hectares are irrigated. The government has provided subsidies worth Rs 41.85 crore in the past five years to support millet cultivation and deposited Rs 553.16 crore in the bank accounts of over 2.43 lakh farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme.
In addition, the government launched the Mukhyamantri Fasal Bima Yojana in 2021-22 to bring more farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. The farmers now pay a reduced premium of Rs 10 per kani, compared to Rs 220 previously. Over 10 lakh farmers have benefited from this scheme.
The agriculture department has also taken several other measures to support farmers in the state. For instance, it procured 1.70 lakh metric tonnes of paddy from 2018 to 2022 and distributed Rs 325.56 crore to 88,840 farmers. The department has opened 32 krishak Bandhu kendras to provide assistance to farmers and distributed 1,50,544 soil health cards and 28,800 developed agri-tools. The state has 17,887 organic farmers, with a total of 21,000 hectares of land under organic farming. In 2020-21, the average monthly income of farmers rose to Rs 11,096.