Doubling farmers income

Mains Marks Booster     5th August 2023        
output themes
  • Doubling farmers' income is a government initiative aimed at increasing the income of farmers in India.
  • Goal - to double the income of farmers by 2022, which is the 75th year of India's independence. 
  • Objective -The objective is to ensure that farmers get a fair price for their produce and are able to earn a sustainable income from farming.

As per the survey results, the average monthly income per agricultural household, from all sources, was estimated at ?10,218 when compared to ?6,426 in 2012-13. In other words, the farm income had risen by 59 per cent till 2019.


The major sources of growth operating within agriculture sector are:

  • improvement in productivity
  • resource use efficiency or saving in cost of production
  • increase in cropping intensity
  • diversification towards high value crops

Sources outside Agriculture 

  • shifting cultivators from farm to non-farm occupation.
  • Improvement in terms of trade for farmers.

Strategy

The premise of the strategy for doubling farmers income is based on the following primary principles:

  • Increasing total output across the agricultural sub-sectors through realising higher productivity.
  • Rationalizing/reducing the cost of production.
  • Ensuring remunerative prices in the agricultural produce.
  • Effective risk management.
  • Adoption of sustainable technologies.

Why Double Farmers' Income?

From self-sufficient food production to self-sufficient farmer -

  • Past strategy for development of the agriculture sector in India has focused primarily on raising agricultural output and improving food security. 
  • The net result has been a 45 per cent increase in per person food production, which has made India not only food self-sufficient at aggregate level, but also a net food exporting country.
  • Strategy to promote farmers welfare-
  • Farmer poverty, Reason of agrarian distress, Low farm investment

Challenges for doubling farmers income-

  • Poor infrastructure-with inadequate irrigation facilities, storage structure, transportation network results in low return to farmer.
  • Fragmentation of land- 86% of India's farmer are small farmers which ask difficult to scale up the operation.
  • Agriculture policies issue- sometimes policies adopted by government are in support of trade and opening market which hurt Farmer
  • Low productivity - low productivity of agriculture compared with other countries.
  • Lack of institutional support ,Dependency on monsoon, Climate change, Price fluctuations 

Way forward

  • The Dalwai Committee in Doubling the Farmers income had recommended substaintial reforms in Marketing structure including reforms in APMCs, and placing agricultural marketing in the Concurrent list
  • Aligning policies-eg. greater procurement of millets instead of cereal centric procurement will help to increase income.
  • Crop diversification - including high value crop which increase farmers income 
  • Technological innovation - to increase productivity and profitability.
  • Extention -to provide farmers with information regarding adoption of new technology.
  • Food processing industries - will help farmers to decrease post handling loss and assured prices of products.
  • Integrated farming systems- such as beekeeping, apiculture , sericulture etc.
  • Promotion of FPOs- for better risk management and greater bargaining power.
  • Diverting the excess manforce - would help to reduce burden on agriculture.

INITIATIVES TAKEN BY GOVERNMENT

  • Income support to farmers through PM KISAN.
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
  • Institutional credit for agriculture sector-Increased from Rs. 8.5 lakh crore in 2015-16 with a target to reach Rs. 18.5 lakh crore in 2022-23.
  • Fixing of Minimum Support Price (MSP) at one-and-a half times the cost of production
  • Micro Irrigation Fund of Rs 5000 crore has been created with NABARD.
  • Promotion of Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs).

It is apparent that income earned by a farmer from agriculture is crucial to address agrarian distress (Chand 2016) and promote farmers welfare. In this background, the goal set to double farmers' income by 2022-23 is central to promote farmers welfare, reduce agrarian distress and bring parity between income of farmers and those working in non-agricultural professions.

Samadhaan