The article elaborates the policies and programmes launched by government to augment the farmer’s income.
- Government believes, that farmers welfare will improve if there is increase in net income from the farms. With this end in view, the approach is to reduce cost of cultivation, enable higher yield per unit and realize remunerative prices of farm produce.
- Some of the important new initiatives in this context and the targets achieved are as follows:
- Scheme to rationalize input management:-
- Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme by which the farmers can know the major and minor nutrients available in their soils which will ensure judicious use of fertiliser application and thus save money of farmers. The balanced use of fertiliser will also enhance productivity and ensure higher returns to the farmers.
- Neem Coated Urea is also being promoted to regulate urea use, enhance its availability to the crop and reduce cost of fertilizer application. The entire quantity of domestically manufactured urea is now neem coated. From the current year (i.e. 2016), the urea that is imported would also be neem coated.
- Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) is being implemented with a view to promoting organic farming in the country. This will improve soil health and organic matter content and increase net income of the farmer so as to realise premium prices.
- The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) is being implemented to expand cultivated area with assured irrigation, reduce wastage of water and improve water use efficiency.
- Scheme to cover nature related risks:-
- Government has also recently approved a new crop Insurance scheme namely Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) to replace National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (NAIS) and Modified NAIS (MNAIS) from Kharif 2016 season.
- PMFBY has addressed all the shortcomings in the earlier schemes and would be available to the farmers at very low rates of premium. The farmers will get full insurance cover as there will be no capping of sum insured and consequently the claim amount will not be cut or reduced.
- This scheme would provide insurance cover for all stages of the crop cycle including post-harvest risks in specified instances. The area coverage would be increased from 23% presently to 50% in two years.
- Scheme to transfer remunerative prices to farmers:-
- A Market Intervention Scheme, namely e-NAM was approved to be implemented during 2015-16 to 2017-18. The releases of grants under the scheme are made on the basis of completion of 3 reform pre-requisites i.e. Single Trading License, Single License Fee and Creation of e-Platform for Trading. The scheme was launched on 14.04.2016 in 8 States viz. Gujarat, Telangana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jharkhand covering 21 markets. As of now 23 markets integrated.
- Scheme to increase productivity:-
- National Food Security Mission (NFSM) pulses: Out of a total allocation Rs. 1700 crore, an amount of Rs. 1100 crore is allocated for pulses as centre share. The target set for pulses production during the year 2016-17 is 20.75 million tons and the area coverage target is 26 million hectares during this year.
- In addition, the Government is implementing several Centrally Sponsored Schemes:
- Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH): The strategy of the MIDH will be on production of quality seeds and planting material, production enhancement through productivity improvement measures along with support for creation of infrastructure to reduce post harvest losses and improved marketing of produce with active participation of all stakeholders, particularly farmer groups and farmer producer organizations. MIDH will subsume six ongoing schemes of the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation on horticulture development viz. three Centrally Sponsored Schemes of NHM, HMNEH, NBM, and three Central Sector Schemes viz. NHB, CDB and the Central Institute for Horticulture (CIH) Nagaland. The interventions under MIDH will have a blend of technological adaptation supported with fiscal incentives for attracting farmers as well as entrepreneurs involved in the horticulture sector.
- National Mission on Oilseeds & Oil palm (NMOOP): This would help in enhancing production of oilseeds by 6.58 million tonnes. The implementation strategy in the Mission would place emphasis on increasing the Seed Replacement Ratio (SRR) with focus on varietal replacement; increasing irrigation coverage under oilseeds from 26 percent to 38 percent; diversification of area from low yielding cereals crops to oilseeds crops; inter-cropping of oilseeds and use of fallow land; area expansion under oil palm and TBOs; increasing availability of quality planting materials of oil palm and TBOs; enhancing procurement of oilseeds and collection and processing of TBOs. Recommended varieties and proven technologies would be demonstrated in a cluster approach through mini kits and frontline/cluster demonstration. The cluster approach would ensure participation of all categories of farmers, irrespective of the size of their holdings, social status and would demonstrate visible impact of technologies in enhancing productivity and production.
- National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA): National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) seeks to transform Indian agriculture into a climate resilient production system through suitable adaptation and mitigation measures in domains of both crops and animal husbandry. NMSA as a programmatic intervention focuses on promotion of location specific integrated/composite farming systems; resource conservation technologies; comprehensive soil health management; efficient on-farm water management and mainstreaming rainfed technologies.
- National Mission on Agricultural Extension & Technology (NMAET): The aim of the Mission is to restructure and strengthen agricultural extension to enable delivery of appropriate technology and improved agronomic practices to farmers. This is envisaged to be achieved by a judicious mix of extensive physical outreach and interactive methods of information dissemination, use of ICT, popularisation of modern and appropriate technologies, capacity building and institution strengthening to promote mechanisation, availability of quality seeds, plant protection etc. and encourage aggregation of Farmers into Interest Groups (FIGs) to form Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs).