In a first in the country, the Kerala government has decided to form a Welfare Fund Board for the uplift of farmers in the state.
The state cabinet on Wednesday decided to set up the board to be known as ‘Kerala Karshaka Kshemanidhi Board’.
The cabinet also decided that Dr P Rajendran would be appointed as the chairman of the Kerala Farmers Welfare Fund Board.
“This is the first time in the country that such a board has been set up for the welfare and uplift of farmers,” an official press release said.
As per the Kerala Karshaka Kshemanidhi Act, agriculture includes horticulture, medicinal plant cultivation, nursery management, fish, ornamental fish, mussels, bees, silkworms, poultry, ducks, goats, rabbits, livestock, and the maintenance and use of land for such agricultural purposes.
For the farmers to become a member of the Board, they need to pay Rs 100 as registration fee and a monthly fee of Rs 100.
“Farmers can pay the monthlyfee together for six months or one year. The government will provide an equivalent share of upto Rs 250 to the members of the Welfare Fund,” the release said.
The Board members are entitled to personal pension, family pension, sickness benefit, disability benefit, medical assistance, marriage and maternity allowance, education assistance and posthumous benefits.
The benefit would be given for the marriage of women members and daughters of members of the Welfare Fund.
As per the Act, a farmer is an owner, licencee, sole proprietor, oral tenant, government land leaseholder who owns not less than 5 cents and not more than 15 acres, with an annual income of less than Rs five lakh.