Centre looking for paradigm shift in its farm policy
Realising that the increased production of foodgrains and horticultural produce have, so far, not brought smile on the face of farmers, the Centre has now been looking for paradigm shift where its programmes and policies would now focus more on ‘income’ than on ‘production’ under seven-point strategy.
The strategy and need to have this approach was discussed on inaugural day of the two-day national conference “Agriculture 2022 - Doubling Farmers’ Income”.
It was noted by participants that though the country had seen all-time high production of foodgrains (275.68 million tonnes) and horticultural produce (300 million tonnes) during 2016-17, the conditions of farmers could not improve much as remunerative price continued to elude them.
Non-realisation of better price led to unrest among farming community and its impact was felt by the government even politically when the BJP had seen decline in its vote share in rural Gujarat during the recently held election. It had sent a warning signal to the government which now wants to have a permanent solution to this tricky issue.
“The government is keen to make agriculture policies and programmes 'income centric' instead of production-oriented,” said Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh while addressing gathering of stakeholders at the Conference.
The seven-point strategy include: Emphasis on irrigation along with end to end solution on creation of resources for ‘More crop per drop'; Provision of quality seeds and nutrients according to the soil quality of each farm; Large investments in warehouses and cold chains to prevent post-harvest losses; Promotion of value addition through food processing; Implementation of National Agricultural Markets and e-platforms (e-NAM); Introduction of crop insurance scheme at a lower cost to mitigate risk and promotion of allied activities such as dairy-animal husbandry, poultry, bee-keeping, horticulture and fisheries.