Registration starts to provide interest-free loans to farmers

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Lahore—The Land Record Management Information System (LRMIS) on Monday started registration of names of farmers interested in getting interest-free loans through smart-phones, under mobile-assisted farming initiative, started by the Punjab government. In the first phase, an amount of Rs 80 billion will be distributed among farmers, while 144 LRMIS’s land record centres working in almost all tehsils will remain open from 4pm to 8pm for registration process.
The initiative is part of Chief Minister’s Kissan Package 2016, aimed at increasing farmers’ income. The loan distribution would be increased to Rs 100 billion and smart-phones would be given to over five million small farmers during the next five years. Around 4.5 lakh small farmers, having less than 12.5 acres of land, will be given interest-free loans in the province and input finance of Rs 25,000 per acre for Rabi season (October-March) and Rs40,000 per acre for Kharif season (April- September) will be given to farmers through mobile-phone-based transactions.
The Punjab Information Technology Board is taking care of mobile technology related aspect of the planned initiative. Under the Kissan package, the idea of providing farmers with an e-credit facility was based on the notion that it would enable farmers to buy necessary inputs with much ease. It can also be dubbed as agricultural reformation through smart use of technology. The mechanism will surely facilitate farmers and, at the same time, will improve business prospects for fertiliser, seed and pesticide companies.
As per the PITB, the ultimate goal of this tech-based intervention is to increase the farm yield and provide financial benefits to farmers through indigenous decision-making system. A systematic way of communication would be established among farmers and other stakeholders through easily-accessible app, with a view to disseminating timely and relevant information about the best farming practices. The latest rates of inputs and various crops would also be provided to farmers though smart-phones, coupled with weather and other advisories.—APP