After the implementation of country's biggest economic reform, GST implementation, the PM Narendra Modi-led Central government is moving towards the upliftment of agriculture sector to double the income of farmers.
After the implementation of country’s biggest economic reform, GST implementation, the PM Narendra Modi-led Central government is moving towards the upliftment of agriculture sector to double the income of farmers. The Centre has asked states to chalk out relevant plans to achieve the goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022, Parliament was informed today. The average monthly income per agricultural household from various sources is estimated to be Rs 6,426, according to the survey done by the National Sample Survey Office in 2013. Replying to queries raised on farmers’ income, Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala said a roadmap has been outlined by the Niti Aayog for farm sector reforms and doubling farmers’ income by 2022. The roadmap presents quantitative framework and identifies seven areas for growth. They include increasing crop yields, livestock production, efficient use of agri- inputs, improving crop intensity, crop diversification, improved price realisation to farmers and shifting cultivators to non-farm jobs, he said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. Rupala said this “policy paper was shared with the states for devising a relevant strategy so as to realise the goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022”. Apart from this, the ministry has also constituted an inter-ministerial committee for recommending a suitable strategy, he added.
Meanwhile, the Centre is realigning its interventions to move from “production-centric” to “farmers’ income centric” platform, he said in a separate reply. “Agrarian distress as manifest from a large number of farmers living below the poverty line and unfortunate incidents of suicides can be addressed by enabling farmers to increase their income,” Rupala asserted. The schemes to promote soil health card, neem-coated urea, crop insurance, e-market and interest subvention are aimed at increasing farmers income, he added. On being asked about the growing number of farmer suicides in the country, Rupala said that an all-India study has been conducted during 2016-17 to ascertain reasons. The study was carried out in 13 major states by Agriculture Research Unit of Bengaluru-based ISEC and reference year was 2015-16, he said without sharing its findings.
To a query on slow farm sector reforms, the minister said: “Agriculture is a state subject and the state governments are primarily responsible for the growth and development of the agriculture sector in their respective states.” The role of the central government is to supplement the efforts of the states through appropriate policy measures and budgetary support, he added. On linking financial grant given to states under a scheme RKVY for agri-reforms, the minister said that it was not pursued further due to implementation issues.
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However, the states are being encouraged to take up reforms advocated through other measures i.e. pe-requisite for integration to e-NAM eligibility under the Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure. He also said that the new model marketing act, 2017 would accelerate the pace and quantity of reforms. “Series of dialogues are being held at various levels to hasten the process of achieving comprehensive market reforms.”
On efforts made to improve employment opportunities and reduce dependency on the agri sector, the minister said that the Centre is “working out specific interventions” for promoting ancillary activities like bee-keeping and also finalising the farm sector programmes under the ‘Skill India’ programme.