The government has asked the Ashok Dalwai committee to oversee the implementation of its recommendations so that the promise of doubling farmers’ income is achieved by 2022.
The committee on doubling farmers’ income (DFI), headed by Ashok Dalwai, the CEO of Rainfed Area Authority, will act as an ‘empowered body’ to coordinate with different ministries as well as among various departments within the agriculture ministry, officials said.
The empowered group will “hold regular reviews with all concerned stakeholders and monitor the progress of implementation of the strategy”, Dalwai told FE. The committee will set up sub-groups on different aspects for the smooth implementation of the suggested strategies, he said.
Since a large number of the recommendations involved state governments as agriculture is a state subject, the committee will also visit states and discuss with them to speed up the pace of implementation, he added.
The Centre had constituted the Dalwai committee in April 2016 to recommend measures required to fulfil the target after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to double farmers’ income in six years.
According to the report of committee, the average annual income of the farmer at the national level is estimated at `96,703 at the base year 2015-16, which is an extrapolation of the NSSO’s 2012-13 estimates. The targeted annual income of a farmer at national level should be `1,72,694 (at 2015-16 constant prices) or `2,42,998 at current prices in 2022-23, the committee said in its report.
The committee has asked the Centre and states to take steps for achieving higher share of farm income in the farmers’ cumulative income. It has fixed the target to change the ratio of farm to non-farm income from the existing 60:40 (in 2015-16) to 70:30 (by 2022-23) for greater viability to agriculture.
As experts have already suggested that there is a need of 10.4% income growth rate in farm sector to achieve the target, which the committee has also agreed, the empowered group will have to convince states to invest more in the farm sector.
The DFI report said the annual growth rate in private investment required is 12.5% during 2016-22 whereas it grew at 9.15% during 2002-12. Similarly, public investment has to be raised and it needs to grow at 16.8% whereas it registered 12.45% growth rate in 2000-13.