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Farm income fell in four States despite aim to double income: parliamentary panel

  • Published
    25th Mar, 2022
Context

A parliamentary panel on agriculture in its report, tabled in Parliament recently, noted that the government is far from its 2022 goal of doubling the income of farmers which the Centre had announced six years ago.

About

Key Findings:

  • Between 2015-16 and 2018-19, nationwide farm income rose 27%, which is still well short of the trajectory needed to achieve the goal of doubling income this year.
  • Between 2015-16 and 2018-19, Jharkhand saw a drop in monthly income by 30%.
  • The Doubling Farmers’ Income (DFI) committee had calculated the 2015-16 baseline by extrapolating the National Statistical Organisation’s (NSO) survey data from 2012-13, calculating that the national average monthly income of a farm family in that year was Rs.8,059.
    • By the time the next NSO survey was conducted in 2018-19, monthly income had risen 27% to Rs.10,218.
  • In Jharkhand, however, a farm family’s average income fell from Rs.7,068 to Rs.4,895 over the same period.
    • In Madhya Pradesh, it fell from Rs.9,740 to Rs.8,339,
    • in Nagaland, from Rs.11,428 to Rs.9,877, and
    • for Odisha, it dipped marginally from Rs.5,274 to Rs.5,112

About Doubling Farmer Income Initiative:

  • The reference year for farmer income is 2015-16 and target year is 2022-2023.
  • The aim is to double the Real Income of farmer and not the nominal income.
  • According to NITI Aayog, farmers’ income in 2015-16 was Rs. 44027 in real terms.
  • In order to achieve the aim, an annual growth of 10.41% is required in farmers’ income.

Initiatives

  • Improving ProductivityDue to stagnancy in quantum of agricultural land, it is imperative to increase productivity over the same amount of land.
    • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) provides for more crop, per drop.
    • Soil Heath Card scheme aims at promoting soil test based and balanced use of fertilisers to enable farmers to realise higher yields at lower cost.
  • Improving Total Factor ProductivityTFP is an important source of output growth which directly contributes into the cost saving and thus increase the income. TFP growth represents the effect of technological change, skill, infrastructure etc.
    • National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) aims to form a unified national market for agricultural products by making a network for the markets related to the existing Agricultural Product Marketing Committee (APMC).
    • Direct Benefit Transfer: The NITI Aayog has suggested that all subsidies for agriculture, including fertiliser, electricity, crop insurance, irrigation and interest subvention be replaced by income transfer because it eliminates the leakages of resources in the system.
  • Diversification of Crops: When farmers go for single crop type they are exposed to high risks in the event of unforeseen climate events, such as emergence of pests and the sudden onset of frost or drought.
    • Crop Diversification Programme (CDP) being implemented which aims to diversify area from water guzzling crop like paddy to alternate crops like maize, pulses, oilseeds, cotton & agro-forestry plantation.
  • Financial Assistance: There are several initiatives taken up by the government like:
    • The Union Budget 2019-20 has made the highest ever allocation to Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare: Rs 1,30,485 crore, a 140 per cent jump over the ’18-19 budget estimate of Rs 57,600 crore.
    • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna has been launched to provide relief to the farmers inflicted with the loss of crop damage.
    • Kisan Credit Card Scheme aims to provide direct benefit to farmers and ease the pressure on them.
    • Micro Irrigation Fund created with NABARD has been approved for encouraging public and private investments.
    • Implementation of Swaminathan Report - Recently, the Government has increased the MSP for all Kharif and Rabi crops and other commercial crops for the season 2018-19 with a return of at least 50 percent over cost of production.
    • The Government has decided to implement a new Central Sector Scheme for providing old age pension of Rs.3000/- to the eligible small and marginal farmers as they have minimal or no savings.
    • PM KISAN - This central sector scheme aims to supplement the financial needs of the SMFs in procuring various inputs to ensure proper crop health and appropriate yields, commensurate with the anticipated farm income at the end of the each crop cycle.
  • Other Initiatives:
    • The Government has been promoting organic farming in the country through the schemes such as Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
  • Coffee Board has launched block-chain based coffee e-marketplace. It will to help integrate the farmers with markets in a transparent manner.
  • NITI Aayog launched in 2016 an index to rank States and UTs based on implementation of seven provisions proposed under model APMC Act.
  • The Mega Food Parks scheme aims to create a mechanism of linking agricultural production to the markets, by involving farmers, processors and retailers together in a cluster-based approach.
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