Day 43 – Q 5.Don’t you think the target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 is too ambitious a target for the government? Had you been a secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, what suggestions you would have given to meet this target?
5. Don’t you think the target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 is too ambitious a target for the government? Had you been a secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, what suggestions you would have given to meet this target?
क्या आपको नहीं लगता कि 2022 तक किसानों की आय को दोगुना करने का लक्ष्य सरकार के लिए बहुत ही महत्वाकांक्षी लक्ष्य है? यदि आप कृषि मंत्रालय में सचिव होते, तो आप इस लक्ष्य को पूरा करने के लिए क्या सुझाव देते?
India’s soul resides in its villages; Agriculture consists of highest amount of employment generation in India. However, huge distress has hit the Agricultural sector due to environmental impacts, policy paralysis, debt trap etc. which has led to large amount of farmer suicides across the country particularly in the Deccan plateau. In this response government has set up Ashok Dalwai Committee- for active balance regional development to get rid of the ongoing farm distress by 2022.
Though pure in its intentions, the goal of doubling farmer’s income by 2022 is seen to be too ambitious due to the following issues-
- Systematic Challenges
- Poor maintenance of land records
- Beneficiary identification is a big issue- leading to inclusion and exclusion errors.
- Agricultural laborers are left out and remain very vulnerable.
- Land leasing leads to wrong targeting of beneficiaries
- Economic Challenges
- Ineffectiveness of insurance schemes like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Bima Yojana.
- Monopoly of the trader in the Mandi.
- Ineffectiveness of the MSP, also MSP only to certain crops leads to lack of diversification of agriculture.
- Socio Economic Challenges
- Poor state of education and awareness with respect to agriculture.
- Lack of research in new scientific Agricultural techniques.
- Infrastructural bottlenecks
- Lack of Banking correspondents-leads to less financial inclusion leading to debt trap.
- Lack of effective irrigation facilities.
- Lack of all weather roads.
- Lack of effective storage & harvest techniques
The problem with respect to Agriculture is deep rooted and hence, it needs systemic solutions with a well thought out strategy and not just a fire fighting strategy.
- Focusing More on Allied sector like Animal Husbandry, Fisheries etc in addition to agriculture.
- Creation of Alternative Source of incomes from Rashtriya Gokul Mission, National Bovine programme etc.
- Looping in private players to build cold storage and transportation infrastructure.
- Integrated implementation of MGNREGA in building rural roads along with PM Gram Sadak Yojana.
- Creation of transparent market through eNam, the elimination of middle man, increasing farmer’s say in determination of prices
- Focusing on value addition in food processing.
- Agriculture market reform on the lines of Model APMC Act.
- Setting up of Small farmers Agribusiness consortium
- Encouraging Contract farming- as it caters to all the input and output externalities.
- Increasing ICT based extension service e.g- like information on weather.
- Zero Budget based farming-Low cost, environment friendly agriculture; e.g-Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh
Thus, reform in the Agriculture sector is most instrumental to effectively improve the lives of the farmers, to improve their lives and to bring economic stability by giving them a sense of security and hope. However, as seen above the changes cannot be overnight, they have to effectively planned and implemented at various levels and achieving a desirable and feasible target with multifaceted approach.
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