Farmers’ Income will double by 2022. Is it a mirage?
The Indian Economy is an Agriculture based economy. About 50% population depends on farming. In the 1950s, half of India’s GDP came from this sector, however, its contribution to GDP has reduced considerably to 18%.
India is the second most populated country with around 1.3 Billion population. Thus, India has to feed the rapidly growing population along with keeping pace with the developed world. It is the Agricultural Sector which has the potential to bring the Indian Economy on track of rapid growth.
The Government of India constituted an Inter-ministerial Committee (DFI) in 2016 to submit its recommendations of how the income of the Indian Farmers could be doubled by the year 2022. In September 2018, the DFI Committee set forth its recommendations regarding the Minimum Price Support System to farmers, the Health of the Soil, Irrigation Management, Minimizing risks with respect to Crop loss, easy availability of Markets, Drought Management and the Improvement in the Institutional Credit System. Keeping the recommendations in view, the Government has taken various initiatives such as Electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM) for a unified national market for agricultural commodities, National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) to focus on integrated farming in rain-fed areas, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana (PMKSY) with an aim to fulfilling the slogans ‘Har Khet ko Pani’ and ‘More Crop per Drop’, Pramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) for the promotion of Organic Farming, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) for insuring crops, Grameen Bhandar Yojana (GBY) to create scientific storage capacity of the agricultural produce, Micro-irrigation Fund (MIF) of Rs. 5,000/- crores to bring more land area under Micro-irrigation and many more.
The Schemes are already working on a war-footing. 17 National Reseach Centres are bolstering these schemes. 10 Agricultural Universities are imparting quality education of Agriculture. All these have earned the country a lot of world recognition in the Agricultural Sector.
The country has become the largest producer of milk, pulses, and jute. It is the second-largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, groundnuts, vegetables, fruits, and cotton. It is the third-largest producer and consumer of fertilizers in the world.
Thus, the Indian Agricultural Sector has great potential to contribute to the GDP; however, it is an irony that the Indian Farmers earn less than they expect. The stomachs of the feeders remain empty because of their exploitation at the hand of mediators. They do not get the due and fail to pay loans taken, which causes their suicides. Still, the country has to go a long way to double their income.
Keeping the pros and cons of the state of the Indian Agricultural Sector, it will surely rise. The Government is committed to its promise. The Schemes are working on a war-footing and by 2022, the Indian Farmers’ income will double. It is not a mirage.