Assam govt announces Rs 5,000 to 1,000 farmers in every constituency; launches toll-free helpline

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Guwahati, November 8: Taking into consideration the situation of farmers in the north eastern state of Assam, the Congress government in the state, ahead of the assembly elections on Saturday promised immediate redressal of farmer's grievances and launched a toll-free helpline and announced installation of complaint boxes in all blocks.

During a meeting of village level workers and agriculture development officers, Assam Agriculture minister Rakibul Hussain also announced financial assistance of Rs 5,000 to 1,000 farmers in every constituency. The money will be disbursed within two months.
To a question if the announcements were made keeping in view the forthcoming elections, Hussain quipped, “Why should anyone have any question if the initiatives benefit farmers?” He said officers in the department have been asked to be in “constant and direct touch” with farmers at the grassroot level.

“We will be installing complaint boxes in the offices of the BDOs. The problems and grievances of farmers will be addressed promptly and instantly,” he said. The Agriculture department also opened a toll-free helpline (18003453753) for farmers, news agency The North East Today reported.

Hussain further announced that every year, one day will be observed as “Farmer’s Day” on which meetings will be organized at the grassroot level to facilitate direct interaction between farmers and officers/ experts of the Agriculture department. The meetings will be organized by field management committees. This year, Farmer’s Day will be organized on November 16.

The minister also informed that the State has registered a sharp increase in rice production. “In 2001, the production was 39 lakh metric tonnes. Last year, we recorded 51 lakh metric tonnes. Considering the demand, we have a surplus production of 6 lakh metric tonnes,” Hussain claimed.

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