The government has been pursuing the target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 and several interventions taken are showing a “positive impact”, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told Parliament on Tuesday. In 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government had set a highly ambitious target of doubling farmers incomes by 2022. An inter-ministerial committee on “Doubling of Farmers’ Income” was set up in April 2016 to recommend strategies to achieve this goal. In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Tomar said the committee submitted its report in September 2018. After acceptance of the panel’s recommendations, the government has set up an ‘Empowered Body’ to review and monitor the progress.
Responding to a query whether the target fixed for the year 2022 can be achieved at the present annual growth, the minister said, “The government has been pursuing the target of doubling farmers’ income.” He said the implementation of various recommendations of the committee and comprehensive interventions of the government are “having a positive impact on growth of agriculture and income of farmers”. The government has adopted several developmental programmes, schemes, reforms and policies that focus on higher incomes for the farmers, the minister said responding to a separate query on the same topic. All these policies and programmes are being supported by higher budgetary allocations, non-budgetary financial resources by way of creating corpus funds, and supplementary income transfers under PM-KISAN. The latest major intervention includes the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat- Agriculture package’ which includes comprehensive market reforms and creation of ‘Agricultural Infrastructure Fund’ worth Rs 1 lakh crore.
The minister was also asked about state-wise details of the income/wages earned per year by farmers from the base year till date and the annual growth percentage required to achieve the targets fixed for the year 2022. He replied that the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) during its 70th round had conducted ‘Situation Assessment Survey (SAS) of Agricultural Households’ in rural areas in the crop year 2012-13 (July-June). “There has been no further assessment of the farmers’ income thereafter,” he said. As per the NSO survey results, the average monthly income per agricultural household from all sources was estimated to be Rs 6,426, he added. The minister also mentioned that the committee on doubling farmers’ income recommended seven sources of income growth. These include improvement in crop productivity; improvement in livestock productivity; resource use efficiency or savings in the cost of production; and increase in the cropping intensity. Diversification towards high value crops, improvement in real prices received by farmers, and shift from farm to non-farm occupations are also included, he added.