Mizoram starts DBT aid to farmers

    By IANS,

    Aizawl : The Mizoram government has started providing financial assistance to farmers under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme.

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    State government officials Thursday claimed that Mizoram is the first state in the northeastern region to provide financial aid using the DBT scheme to farmers involved in the New Land Use Policy (NLUP), a flagship programme of the state government.

    Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla and Finance Minister H. Liansailova provided necessary documents to farmers selected to get the financial assistance at a programme held here Thursday.

    “The farmers selected under NLUP scheme would get the financial assistance through their bank accounts under DBT provisions,” an official of the state agriculture department told reporters.

    He said the second-phase programme to provide financial assistance under NLUP was held simultaneously in the offices of sub-divisional officers and block development officers across the state Thursday.

    He added: “The Planning Commission had earlier appreciated Mizoram government for its achievements under NLUP scheme and was assured more support to carry forward the programme.”

    The Mizoram government launched the Rs.2,873-crore NLUP in 2010 to solve food scarcity by moving away from ‘Jhum cultivation’ (slash and burn method of shifting cultivation) to permanent farming.

    NLUP aims to support 120,000 “Jhumia” (shifting cultivator) families over five years so they settle under stable agriculture.

    The chief aim of NLUP is to develop and give all farmers in the state suitable, permanent and stable trades. It also aims to make all farmers self-sufficient in rice, vegetables etc. and extend monetary help.

    Tribals in the northeastern states practice ‘Jhum’ or slash-and-burn method of cultivation. This shifting form of farming usually involves cutting down of entire forests in the hills and allow the slashed vegetation to dry on mountain slopes prior to burning. Rice is grown with vegetables, maize, cotton, mustard and others.