Agri Business

Doubling farmers’ income will be key topic at BusinessLine Agri Summit

Our Buerau Chennai | Updated on February 19, 2020

In 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi set out on his dream to double farmers’ income by 2022. The years that followed have been a challenge for rural India with agri GDP growth plummeting from 4.27 per cent in the 2009-14 period to 2.9 per cent in the 2014-19 period, with four of the last six years seeing below-par monsoons (two deficient and two below-normal monsoons). This has complicated the task for the government to achieve the PM’s mandate.

Government initiatives

The government, nevertheless, has been doing its bit to make this possible. Under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana, between 2014 and 2019, 40.45 lakh hectares have been additionally brought under micro irrigation. That apart, an electronic National Agriculture Market has been created by linking 585 mandis across the country on one platform.

Development of gramin haats, thrust on FPOs, increase in MSP (to offer 50 per cent profit margin) and higher procurement of pulses and oil seeds are some of the other measures introduced by the government. Further, as many as 22.07-crore soil health cards have been distributed in two cycles since 2015. The National Productivity Council study shows that application of fertilisers, as per the recommendations of the soil health cards, has resulted in farmers saving on costs by 8-10 per cent and benefitting from higher yield.

The PM Fasal Bima Yojana is also a major breakthrough in the crop insurance space. Increasing agri credit, expanding the scope of Kisan Credit Card and, more recently, launching PM-KISAN — the direct income support scheme for farmers — have attempted to improve farmers’ welfare. Many State governments, for their part, have waived farm loans.

But farm distress still continues. This calls for revisiting some of the populist policies and giving a renewed thrust to enhance technology and innovation.

The two-day Agri Summit, organised by BusinessLine on the theme ‘Re-imagining India’s Agriculture - Doubling Farmers’ Income’, to be held on February 27 and 28 in New Delhi, will bring together all stakeholders to discuss the next steps to enhance farmers’ income. The event is powered by Nafed and Godrej Agrovet and partnered by Bayer CropScience.

Published on February 19, 2020

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