Economists to PM: Shift to models that boost farmers’ income

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 10, 2018

Rajiv Kumar, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman   -  PTI

Jobs situation was also discussed in the NITI Aayog-organised interaction

There is a need to shift focus to increasing farmers’ income rather than increasing just production, economists suggested to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the interactive session organised by NITI Aayog, on the theme “Economic Policy – The Road Ahead.”

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog, Rajiv Kumar, said, “Several participants said that we must shift our focus from increasing agricultural production. This is because whether production goes up or down, the farmer’s income may not actually increase. There are cases where there is an increase of production and the sale price of the produce falls.”

“So the focus should shift to models that increase the farmer’s income. This can be brought about by improving productivity, lowering costs, greater efficiency, giving much greater market access to farmers, making them producers of products rather than commodities. Some suggested creating clusters in different districts that can specialise in certain agricultural products,” he added.

An official statement said that during the session, participants shared their views on various economic themes such as the macro-economy, agriculture and rural development, and employment.

Kumar said that the jobs situation was also on the agenda of the meeting. “A number of economists pointed out to the fact that the educated unemployment among the young of this country may be as high as 20 per cent. This is a matter of concern,” he said.

Employment data

Kumar said that the NITI Aayog is undertaking a reassessment of India’s employment data.

“The NITI Aayog had set up a task force with experts to examine high frequency employment data. We have done a very large exercise after data analytics and have come out with data in contrast with what the Labour Bureau data show. It will be a very conservative estimate, but it will take into account the means of employment that are not being monitored yet,” he added.

Published on January 10, 2018

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