The overall farmers’ income has increased in the range of 125-272 per cent while States like Uttarakhand, West Bengal, and Chhattisgarh have recorded more than 200 per cent increase in four years, according to a study by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

“The results reiterate the fact that doubling farmers’ income is possible across agricultural sectors, across the nation irrespective of land size. Science and technology-driven increase in income is a reality and could be pursued nationwide with necessary back-up from administrative and policy support,” said a top agriculture scientist of ICAR.

For the calculation of income, the study kept 2016-17 as the base year and 2020-21 as the impact year.

Landless farmers in Ladakh had the highest increase in income at 390.6 per cent while Jharkhand had 366.59 per cent, Andhra Pradesh had 342.97 per cent and Goa had a 303.02 per cent rise.

The income of marginal farmers (less than 2 hectares) increased to 298.10 per cent in Haryana and over 200 per cent in Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Assam. Small farmers (owning 2-5 hectares of land) in Puducherry, Uttarakhand, Assam and Himachal Pradesh had gained maximum through the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) intervention.

Large farmers (over 10 hectares) in Puducherry had recorded the highest increase in income at 405.26 per cent and West Bengal at 377.39 per cent.

Horticulture plays key role

The ICAR report also highlighted that horticulture had the dominant share in total income during 2016-17 as well as in 2020-21 in 14 States like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Goa and Tripura. Farmers in Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, and Goa had a share of more than 60 per cent from horticulture in their total income.

One of the important observations were related to the declining income from field crops (agriculture crops), though it was still the main source of income in 11 States like Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Telengana.

But in States like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland the main source of agricultural income came from livestock. Fisheries were the dominant source for farmers in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Odisha.

Push to promote traditional farming

Releasing the compilation of 75,000 success stories on the ICAR foundation day, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, however, said that there is a need to promote traditional farming along with the adoption of new technologies to move ahead. He also spoke about the need to promote organic as well as natural farming, as excess use of chemicals and fertilisers impacts human health.

Addressing the gathering of scientists and farmers, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala emphasised on improving soil health and said it can be achieved through the use of cow dung for which a protocol should be prepared.

The success stories were the result of ICAR’s State-specific plans for doubling farmers’ income as it had entrusted KVKs to take up the challenge. Using a technology-centric approach, KVKs guided farmers in adopting innovative technologies and good agricultural practices.

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