The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the continuation of the Agri-umbrella programme, ‘Green Revolution — Krishonnati Yojana’ for two more years with an outlay of Rs 33,000 crore. The programme merged 11 schemes for a holistic and scientific approach towards agriculture with an aim to double farmers’ income by 2022.
The Krishonnati Yojana was launched last year. It will get centre’s share of Rs 33,279 crore for three years — 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20. The ambitious programme has schemes such as Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture with a central outlay of Rs 7,533 crore; National Food Security Mission Rs 6,893 crore; National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture Rs 3,981 crore; and Submission on Agriculture Extension Rs 2,961 crore.
In February this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared his four-point strategy to boost farmers’ income. He said that steps that needed to be taken are: how to decrease the production cost of farmers, increase their minimum support price, stop wastage of crops and provide additional income to farmers.
The Union Cabinet also approved subsidy of Rs 5.5 per quintal for sugarcane farmers to help cash-starved millers. Last week, the government had increased the minimum support price (MSP) of raw jute by Rs 200 per quintal to Rs 3,700 per quintal for the 2018-19 crop season.
In the Budget 2018, the government vowed to increase MSP to one-and-half times of the production cost. The Narendra Modi government faced multiple farmers’ protests in many states as they faced losses due to two consecutive droughts.
With normal monsoon expected this year, analysts are hopeful that India’s agriculture sector will bounce back from its losses in the previous years. Noted agriculture economist Ashok Gulati, during Mumbai’s farmers protest had suggested the government to provide direct income support for a year or two to farmers.