The government has set up a panel to prepare a blueprint for doubling farmers’ income by 2022, as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The committee will chalk out a plan to shift farm policies from being production-oriented to based on incomes,” a senior Agriculture Ministry official said.
The eight-member panel will identify potential areas of agriculture where more investment should happen and suggest ways to reduce the risk of farming by diversifying to horticulture and allied activities like livestock and fisheries to boost income, the official added.
The government’s decision to set up the committee follows the budget announcement that set a target of doubling farm incomes by 2022.
The inter-ministerial panel, which is expected to submit the report in two months, will also look at reducing the cost of cultivation and addressing unpredictability of weather and price fluctuations in farm sector.
“The government is focusing not only on increasing crop yields but also on reducing the cost of cultivation to increase the net income of farmers. The schemes on soil health card, neem-coated urea and per drop more crop, are aimed at bringing down the cost of cultivation,” the official said.
Besides, the government is trying to address the unpredictability in agriculture due to market fluctuations, and due to weather by setting up an electronic National Agriculture Market and implementing a new crop insurance scheme, he added.
The committee will be headed by Ashok Dalwai, Additional secretary at the Agriculture Ministry. The other members will be officials from Agriculture and Food Ministries as well as experts from the Delhi-based National Council of Applied Economic Research and National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research.