The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has issued a circular to all local levels, urging them to expedite the process of listing of farmers in their areas concerned.

In response to a recent written request from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, the MoFAGA told the local levels that the progress in farmers' listing programme was not satisfactory till date.

The letter sent by the MoALD to MoFAGA said that it had allocated Rs 600,000 to each local level for the last fiscal 2020-21 and ongoing fiscal but their performance in this regard was not encouraging.

"A total of Rs 460 million has been allocated to the local levels for the purpose of farmers' listing programme and more than half of the budget is said to be spent already.

However, details of only 122,060 farmers have been registered in the software. It indicate that the progress is sluggish compared to the budget spent so far," the MoALD said.

The programme was officially launched in March 2021 to make listing of farmers in the country and distribute farmer identity cards accordingly.

Once the identity card is distributed, the farmers will be entitled to government services and grants on the same basis. In the circular posted on its website, the MoFAGA called on the local units to complete the listing of farmers at the earliest and upload the details on the software of MoALD.

The registration of farmers will also assist the government in classifying the situation of the farmers and ensuring their access to necessary facilities. The facilities and grants will directly go to the registered farmers upon their listing and distribution of identity cards. It is also expected to check the embezzlement of budget meant for farmers and help develop the agriculture sector.

The farmers' listing programme has been conducted in coordination among all three tiers of government, but local levels are more responsible to register the farmers through outreach campaign in their areas concerned.

A version of this article appears in the print on January 15, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.