From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Kisan Rail
Mains level : Read the attached story
Punjab has assured Kerala Government to provide paddy straw for usage as fodder for livestock using the Kisan Rail Project.
Why such move?
- Kerala, being a land-stressed coastal state, does not generate enough roughage that can be used as fodder for cattle.
- It ranks second in milk production after Punjab.
- The move will help Punjab to deal with the excessive paddy straw which contributes to stubble burning.
About Kisan Rail Project
- In the Union Budget 2020-21 an announcement was made by the Union Finance Minister regarding the launch of Kisan Rail.
- The idea behind running Kisan Rail services is to move perishables including fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fishery and dairy products from production or surplus regions to consumption or deficient regions.
- The speedy rail movement would thus ensure minimum damage during transit.
How can farmers transport their produce?
- The farmers have to approach the Chief Parcel Supervisor of the Railway Stations from where the Kisan Rail service is scheduled to originate or to have enroute stoppage, along with their consignment.
- Due care is taken to ensure that the packing condition is not faulty.
- The consignment is weighed and charges are levied as per the prescribed parcel rates (P-scale).
- 50 percent subsidy is given in freight for transportation of fruits and vegetables.
- The subsidy is being borne by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries under their Operation Greens – TOP to Total scheme.
- There is no minimum limit on quantity that can be booked, enabling small famers to reach bigger and distant markets.
- Kisan Rails are based on the concept of multi commodity, multi consignor, multi consignee and multi stoppages – to help small farmers with lesser produce to transport their consignment without any middleman.
Need for such scheme
- Farmers, especially small and marginal farmers, often find it difficult to sell their produce in markets beyond a certain distance.
- This is primarily due to factors such as non-availability of affordable transport, delay in transit resulting in damage/decay to produce, and unwillingness of road transporters to carry small sized consignments.
- Access to markets: Vast network of Indian Railways enables farmers from remote villages to connect to the mainstream market and sell their agricultural produce.
- Helps prevent food wastage: It saves times and encourages farmers to transport their perishables to greater distances and bigger markets.
- Getting better deal for farmers: Kisan Rail is a factor enabling improvement in terms of trade for farmers and the real returns received by farmers for their produce.
- Doubling farmers’ income: Access to such markets will enable farmers to sell their produce at a better price, which will go a long way in fulfilling Government’s vision of ‘doubling farmers’ income.’