Doubling Farmers Income till 2022

Doubling Farmers Income till 2022

This article deals with ‘Doubling Farmers Income till 2022.’ This is part of our series on ‘Economics’ which is an important pillar of the GS-3 syllabus. For more articles, you can click here.


Introduction

In the 2016 Budget, the Government of India announced to double the farmer’s income (not income from per acre but total what he is earning) until 2022. An annual increase of 15% every year for 6 years was needed.


Government Committees and strategy to achieve this

  • Ashok Dalwai Committee has prepared a report on the way to Double Farmer’s income. 
  • Agriculture Ministry has given Seven-Point Strategy for Doubling Farmers income 
    1. Improvement in crop productivity
    2. Improvement in livestock productivity
    3. Resource use efficiency or savings in the cost of production
    4. Increase in the cropping intensity
    5. Diversification towards high-value crops
    6. Improvement in real prices received by farmers
    7.  Shift from farm to non-farm occupations.  
  • There are some issues as the definition of who constitutes a farmer in India is faulty. The Government considers that person as a farmer who owns the land and possesses a record of right (RoR). But it creates an issue of exclusion and inclusion error.


Ways to double farmer’s income  or increase farmer’s income

1. More from Less

  • Going towards low-input, high-output agriculture, especially Organic farming and Zero Budget Natural Farming.

2. Better Market Price Realization

Farmers should be able to sell their produce at good prices. It can be achieved by

  • Revision of the APMC Act.
  • Promoting Contract Farming.   
  • Focusing on the “demand-driven fork-to-farm approach” (i.e. farmers should produce what consumers demand). Until now, the focus was on ‘farm to fork’ approach.

3. Providing Extension Services

  • Extension services provided to the farmers should be increased. For this, the government should utilize ICT. It can help the farmers make correct decisions regarding inputs and crop-mix decisions.

4. Food Processing 

  • There should be more value addition by promoting food processing. The government has already started schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana, promoting agro-processing clusters, etc.

5. Insurance and  credit cushion

  • Government should promote Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to reduce possible risks. 
  • The government should increase the percentage of Institutional Credit to farmers so that they can invest in their farms to increase productivity.

6. Diversification 

Doubling Farmers Income till 2022
  • Emphasis on Livestock sector: Animal husbandry, beekeeping, fishery etc., duly supported by Food Processing Industry should be promoted as a side business to increase farmer’s income.  
  • Farmers should diversify into agroforestry by planting trees on the boundaries of farmers’ fields.

7. Governance

  • States should pass the Model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Act (APLM) 2017.
  • Government should increase the budgetary allocations to Agricultural Universities, which can do R&D for increasing farmer productivity. 
  • Leasing laws should be reformed so that farmers can lease land easily and do farming on a viable piece of land.