Agriculture, the backbone of our nation, is a vital sector that sustains millions of farmers and contributes significantly to our economy. The government recognizes the crucial role of farmers and has taken proactive measures to enhance their income and well-being. In line with this vision, several policies, reforms, and programs have been implemented to empower farmers and uplift their economic status.
The Government of India, acknowledging the importance of doubling farmers’ income, formed an Inter-Ministerial Committee in 2016. This committee extensively examined the challenges faced by farmers and recommended strategies to achieve this goal. The committee’s final report, submitted in 2018, outlined various policies, reforms, and programs aimed at doubling farmers’ income.
To ensure the successful implementation of these strategies, the government has significantly increased budget allocations for the agriculture sector. The budget allocation for the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying has grown over 4.35 times from 2013-14 to 2023-24.
Important key points
- Income support through PM KISAN: The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM KISAN) scheme provides income support to farmers, offering Rs. 6,000 annually in three installments. Over 11 crore farmers have received a total of more than Rs. 2.24 lakh crore under this scheme.
- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY): Launched in 2016, PMFBY addresses issues like high premium rates and reduced sum insured. Farmers have enrolled in large numbers, with over 37.66 crore applications and claims amounting to more than Rs. 1,30,185 crore being paid to farmers against a premium of Rs. 25,174 crore.
- Institutional credit for agriculture: The government has increased institutional credit for the agriculture sector, aiming to reach Rs. 18.5 lakh crore in 2022-23. Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) have been extended to Animal Husbandry and Fisheries farmers, facilitating their short-term working capital needs.
- Minimum Support Price (MSP): The government has fixed the MSP for various crops at one-and-a-half times the cost of production since 2018-19. This ensures farmers receive a fair price for their produce. The MSP for crops like Paddy and Wheat has witnessed significant increases over the years.
- Promotion of organic farming: Initiatives like Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Mission Organic Value Chain Development in North East Region (MOVCDNER) promote organic farming. These programs have covered substantial areas and benefited a large number of farmers.
- Per Drop More Crop: The Per Drop More Crop scheme focuses on enhancing water use efficiency and productivity through micro-irrigation technologies. Approximately 72 lakh hectares have been covered under micro-irrigation through this scheme.
- Promotion of Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs): The government has launched a central sector scheme to form and promote 10,000 new FPOs. These organizations empower farmers by providing them with collective strength, access to resources, and better market linkages.
- National Beekeeping and Honey Mission: Launched as part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, this mission aims to increase crop productivity through pollination and promote honey production as an additional source of income. Significant funding has been assigned for the development of the beekeeping sector.
- Agricultural mechanization and farm machinery: The government has encouraged the adoption of modern farm machinery and equipment to increase efficiency and productivity. Subsidies and financial assistance are provided to farmers for purchasing machinery like tractors, harvesters, and seeders.
- Soil Health Card: The Soil Health Card scheme provides farmers with information about the nutrient status of their soil, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding fertilizer application. Over 18.72 crore soil health cards have been distributed to farmers.
- Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY): RKVY aims to provide flexibility and autonomy to states in planning and implementing agricultural development programs. It supports various initiatives such as crop diversification, technology dissemination, and infrastructure development.
- Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY): PMKSY focuses on expanding irrigation coverage and improving water-use efficiency. It includes schemes like Har Khet Ko Pani and Per Drop More Crop, aiming to increase agricultural productivity through efficient water management.
- e-NAM (National Agricultural Market): E-NAM is an online trading platform that integrates agricultural markets across the country. It facilitates transparent price discovery and provides farmers with better access to markets, reducing intermediaries and ensuring fair prices
- Blue Revolution: Blue Revolution encompasses the development and management of fisheries and aquaculture in India. Various schemes promote sustainable aquaculture, fish production, and infrastructure development in coastal and inland areas.
- Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY): PMKSY aims to create modern infrastructure for the food processing industry. It includes schemes like Mega Food Parks, Cold Chain Infrastructure, and Agro-Processing Clusters, fostering value addition, reducing wastage, and boosting farmers’ income.
- Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA): PM-AASHA ensures remunerative prices to farmers by providing a comprehensive procurement mechanism. It has three components and these components work together to provide farmers with a comprehensive support system, guaranteeing them adequate compensation for their agricultural produce.
- Agriculture Export Policy: The government has formulated an Agriculture Export Policy to boost agricultural exports and promote global trade. It focuses on creating an enabling environment for farmers, processors, and exporters, enhancing competitiveness in the international market.
- Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY): PM-KMY is a voluntary pension scheme for small and marginal farmers. It provides financial security to farmers in their old age by ensuring a monthly pension after attaining 60 years of age.
- Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs): KVKs are agricultural science centers that serve as knowledge and resource hubs for farmers. They provide training, demonstrations, and technical support on modern agricultural practices, enabling farmers to adopt new technologies and improve their livelihoods.
The government’s unwavering commitment to doubling farmers’ income is evident through its comprehensive policies, reforms, and programs. With increased budget allocation, income support schemes, credit facilities, and promotion of organic farming, the aim is to uplift farmers and create sustainable agricultural practices, leading to a brighter future for the farming community.