The central government is planning to put in place a system to track state wide income of farmers on an annual basis. The Union Agriculture Ministry is coordinating with the Commission for Agriculture Cost and Prices (CACP), National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) and the state governments to compute such an annual report to be published every year.
The annual survey of farmers' income on a state level basis will encourage competition among the states to improve the lot of farmers in respective states, pointed out SK Pattanayak, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
Addressing the foundation day seminar on 'Doubling Farmers Income' organised by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development in New Delhi on Tuesday, Pattanayak said that two expert committees, one at the ministry level and the other at an inter-ministerial level, are looking at the ways and means to double farmers income by 2022. "The first report of the committee should come in September 2016", he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Ramesh Chand, member of the government think tank Niti Aayog, said that focus on five key areas - productivity, crop intensity, process diversification, agri-market reforms and non-farm income - can help farmers double their income by 2022.
Chand said that thrust should be on increasing productivity, not only as percentage of cultivated land or area, but also across parameters such as productivity per unit of fertilizer, water, investment etc. "By use of appropriate technology, agrichemicals and seeds, we can raise the gross returns of the farmer," he pointed out.
Chand stressed on the need to encourage agriculture R&D. He wanted more resources into public sector research and a better enabling environment to promote private sector research in agriculture.
According to Chand, crop intensity is very low even in irrigated areas of the country. Similarly, along with product diversificaiton from low value to high value products, Chand wanted process diversification and time diversification. This would ensure better processes and more appropriate timing for sowing for better yields.
He also stressed on the need for agri-market reforms to help farmers get better price realisation and complained that several state governments, who are key to the successful implementation of farmer welfare programmes, have been slow in their response.