“Farmers are the ones who take the country forward. The agricultural sector of our country has shown the path to the whole world in many cases. Our aim is to double farmers' income by 2022 as well as address the challenges farmers face“
PM Narendra Modi
PM Modi’s vision of doubling farmer’s income by 2022 can be seen in the initiatives taken by the government. With focus on farmers, this government believes in empowering annadatas in every way possible.
PM Modi had said that -
“Agriculture Marketing Reform is being done at a very large scale in the country for ensuring fair price of crop. The government is promoting the Farmer Producer Organization”
Modi government through e-NAM has brought a paradigm change in the way farmers sell their produce. Cutting down on middlemen and enabling direct selling of crops on a market platform like e-NAM is benefitting farmers to a great extent. 1,000 Agricultural Produce Committees have been registered on the platform and farmers are directly
selling their produce on the platform. 1.66 crore farmers are registered on e-NAM as of 15th May 2020.
In its first term, the Modi government had announced a major MSP hike and ensured that farmers receive an MSP of at least 1.5 times the production cost. In its second term, the Modi government has announced more MSP hikes ensuring better income for farmers. Hike in MSP is for Rabi crops for Marketing Season 2020-21. It ranges from 50% to 109% over cost of production of various crops. For example, MSP for wheat and barley increased by Rs 85, gram by Rs 255, Masur (Lentil) by Rs 325, mustard by Rs 225.
In order to improve forward linkages in agriculture and create a strong ecosystem around agricultural pursuits, ASPIRE (A Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industries and Entrepreneurship) scheme has been launched. Under this initiative, 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in agro-rural industries will be trained and assisted with 80 livelihood business incubators and 20 technology business incubators.
In order to reform agricultural marketing, 10,000 new Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) are to be formed. FPOs will help small and marginal farmers to get lower rates for inputs and sell produce at higher rates. They will also ensure economies of scale for farmers in the next five years. Moreover, they will help translate agricultural reforms to action on the ground.
With a focus on doubling farmers’ income and providing them a social security cover, PM-KISAN scheme was brought in by the Modi government in February 2019. Initially it was meant for small and marginal farmers in the country, now the scheme has been expanded to cover all the farmers in the country. Around 14.5 crore farmers are to be benefitted by the scheme.
Further, the Modi government has also brought in a pension scheme for farmers called the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-dhan Yojana. It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme for farmers aged between 18 and 40 years, with a monthly contribution of just Rs 55-220. The beneficiaries are eligible to get a pension of upto Rs 3,000 after reaching 60 years of age.
The interesting part here is that beneficiaries of PM-KISAN scheme have the option to allow their contribution sent into to this pension scheme. This creates a synergy between the two schemes meant for income security of the farmers.
Focussing on basic and traditional means of agriculture, Modi government is promoting Zero Budget Farming. Zero Budget Farming involves zero credit and no use of chemical fertilisers.
The Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana launched by Modi government is creating organic farming clusters. Around 20,000 clusters were added across India in 2018-19. India has a very large number of organic farmers and through this scheme more farmers are using traditional methods of farming.
PM Modi has said that farmers’ contribution is going to be significant in making India a $5 trillion economy. Farmers need to be seen as exporters and not just as mere producers. There has been added focus on agro-based industries and agricultural marketing. Also, the Modi government in the maiden Budget of its second term (2019-20) has allocated Rs 1,51,518 crore to the agriculture sector, which is a 75 percent hike year-on-year.
Modi government is empowering the farmers of the country in every way possible and moving towards realising the vision of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.