Blaming the UPA policies for farmers’ distress, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today said the NDA government on the other hand has rolled out several schemes like crop insurance and e-NAM to double their incomes by 2022. The government is confident of achieving the target of doubling farmers’ income in the said time period though some may have doubts, she said. The schemes — be it crop insurance, micro-irrigation, electronic agri-mandi or for that matter mega food parks — announced so far will take some time to show its effects but will have substantial impact on the income of farming community. “Farmers distress is not that has been caused in the last three years. It has been inherited due to policies of the last 60 years. The nation knows which government had ruled for last 60 years,” Badal told reporters on the sidelines of an event that announced India to be a partner in the forthcoming global ANUGA food trade to be held this year. She also attacked Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for visiting violence-hit Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh where recently six farmers died in police firing during a protest and termed his visit as “issue-based tourism”. Highlighting the NDA government’s measures taken in the last three years, Badal said several measures have been rolled out in the farm, fertiliser, irrigation and food processing sectors so that to ensure farmers get better income. She further said the priority is being given on promoting food processing and more investments are being encouraged not only from the domestic market but also foreign. Had the previous government set up enough food processing units in the country, farmers today would not have sold their produce at a throw away price, she said.
Despite bumper production this year, farmers are not getting better price because they are unable to store till price improves in the absence of storage facilities and food processing units nearby, she added. Asked about loan waivers announced by some states, Badal said the states have the right to take steps for the welfare of farmers. But the central government believes in overall development of farming community and not giving one-time sop or relief by announcing loan waiver.