Q. Despite having several measures to reduce the vulnerability of farmers in India, the farm sector and farmers continue to suffer losses. Suggest some measures that can be taken to improve their conditions. (250 words)04 Mar, 2020 GS Paper 3 Economy
- HIghlight some measures and focus areas in the Agricultural sector by Government.
- Highlight some ongoing challenges and issues in the sector.
- List out some measures to overcome the challenges.
- Conclude with the need for holistic measures.
Farm Sector employs the majority of India’s economic force and to reduce vulnerabilities of those dependent on it, a target of doubling farmer’s income by 2022 has been envisaged by India through various means like PM-KISAN, Fasal Bima Yojana, reforms in the marketing sector, direct benefit transfer etc. Still, various challenges lie ahead.
- The disparity in sector’s expenditure and growth drivers like despite higher growth in livestock and fisheries sector, only moderate to low expenditure was recorded.
- Low expenditure in research and development, nearly 0.4% of GDP.
- Operational and Structural issues with Farmers and Producers Organisation due to numerous Acts and Agencies.
- Low participation of the private sector.
- Lack of affordable technologies and small scale investment avenues.
- Lack of convergence and congruity among regulatory organisations, especially at state level.
Measures to overcome vulnerabilities
- PM-KISAN will encourage farmers to invest some or all part of the income support in productive assets for achieving the multiplier effect in the sector.
- Expenditure on Research and Development needs to be raised to 1% of GDP.
- Blockchain-based e-marketplace will lead to better and accurate price discovery, leading to rising income of farmers and expanded market for agro-based products.
- Extending CSR to the farm sector with focus on small investments in clean and affordable sustainable technologies and solutions will attract private investment along with increasing farm efficiency and productivity.
- Subsuming regulations under a single organisation like National Agricultural Development Council at national level and Farmers Welfare Organisations at state level.
Not limiting to these measures there is a need for a mix of measures ensuing price, market, insurance, investment, environment and social aspect of the sector.
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