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Agriculture is the backbone of Indian economy as more than 60% of rural population is directly or indirectly depend on agriculture and allied sector for their livelihood. Agriculture along with Horticulture, Animal husbandry, fishery, dairy etc. are the major contributors in country''s GDP Economic Survey 2018 indicates better economy in which country''s GDP growth is estimated to be 7 to 7.5% in the financial year 2018-19. According to Economic Survey 2018 India''s contribution to world economy has increased a lot now because China is currently busy trying to balance itself. Agricultural growth is estimated to be 2.1 percent in the current financial year. According to the survey, the consumption-based growth will be seen in the coming financial year.
Farmers who provide food to us, today are going through a phase of change and now they will have to adopt new technologies to increase its production and profits. Agriculture will now have to move towards agribusiness rather than traditional agriculture for doubling farmers'' income. The budget 2018 was fully dedicated to the farmers, under which agriculture loan has been increased by 10 percent to 11 lakh crore for 2018-19 and it is a revolutionary step to increase the minimum support price (MSP) for all crops by 1.5 times the cost of production. 2600 crores for agricultural irrigation scheme is an important step of government of India towards bringing water to every farm. Overall, policies of the Government of India are being made by keeping the agriculture and rural communities in the center.
Doubling farmers'' income by 2022, when the country will be celebrating 75 years of independence is the major agenda of Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. However, the most difficult question is ''How'', when the Indian agriculture is growing at slow pace, and facing the challenges to produce more from less for more to meet the needs of the growing human and animal population under fast diminishing arable area and water resources.
Broadly for doubling farmer''s income we need to increase the productivity and also create the new agribusiness dimensions like market reforms, cold storages, rural infrastructure, smooth supply chain etc. Data from 2013 reveals that India''s average yield of cereal per hectare is far less than that of many countries (including several low income countries), but the difference is huge when compared to China. For instance, our average yield per hectare is 39% below than that of China and for rice this figure is 46%. Even Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia fare better than India in case of rice yield. Further, there is a huge inter-regional variation; the wheat and rice yield from Haryana and Punjab is much higher than from the other states. Now there is a need to herald a rainbow revolution by making a shift from wheat-rice cycle to other cereals, pulses, horticulture, vegetables crop and oil seeds.
For doubling farmers'' income Honorable Prime Minister has appointed a committee under chairmanship of Dr. Ashok Dalwai, Secretary (MA&FW), who is also CEO of the National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA) of India. In his report he has mentioned that in cost of cultivation, pesticide cost is just 0.4% in Indian farming. According to Dr. Dalwai, by 2022 we will require INR 6,99,900 Cr for doubling farmers'' income and from budget such type of allocation is not possible. He has advised that private sector also have to come forward for investment in agriculture sector.
Our recommendation for helping in ''Doubling Farmers'' Income'' :
A) Our farmers are not getting new & farm friendly technology and they are mostly depend on inputs dealer for this. By providing the training to these inputs dealers through the MANAGE & other universities and KVKs, we can provide the new technology to the farmers which will help in maximizing their income.
B) By rain water harvesting, we may save huge amount of rain water and use in agriculture.
Farmer should construct small ponds in their farm and use the collected rain water in agriculture when it is needed most.
C) Creating Self-Help Group by the group of farmers and taking market advantage by selling their produce on best price.
D) By supplying best quality inputs like seeds, fertilizers, agrochemicals and drip irrigation.
As we have a lot of diversity in terms of agro-climatic conditions, there is a very high potential which needs to be harnessed by working in desired directions. The emphasis has been on agricultural output, rather than on farmers'' incomes. With a good strategy, well-designed programmes, adequate resources and good governance in implementation this target is achievable. As a large percentage of our population depends on agriculture, doubling of farmers'' incomes will have strong benefits for other sectors of the economy as well. The overall strategy of NDA Government led by Hon''ble Prime Minister - Shri Narendra Modi to transform farming ''from a production-based activity into an income and job-generating enterprise'', is surely a herculean step forward towards doubling the income (in real terms) of the farming community.