Short Note : National Comission on Farmers
The National Commission on Farmers (NCF) was constituted in 2004, under the chairmanship of Professor M.S. Swaminathan to make suggestions on a medium-term strategy for food & nutrition security in the nation, enhancing the farming profitability, suggest policy reforms for improving agricultural production, increasing credit supply and providing cost competitiveness to the farmers of the nation.
The NCF had submitted five reports in December 2004, August 2005, December 2005, April 2006 and October 4, 2006, respectively.
What are the findings/recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission?
- The Commission attempted to ascertain the various causes for the agrarian distress in the country. The causes for agrarian distress include pending land reforms, quantity, and quality of agrarian technical inputs, the inadequacy of credit and lack of adequate remuneration for the farmers.
- The problems have only been further complicated by lack of timely rains and adverse meteorological conditions.
- Land reforms are needed to address the basic issue of access to land for both crops and livestock.
- A comprehensive set of reforms to enable farmers to have sustained and equitable access to water.
- Reduce the interest rate of institutional credit support to the farmers.
- Expand crop insurance cover to cover the entire country and all crops, with reduced premiums and create a Rural Insurance Development Fund to take up development work for spreading rural insurance.
- MSP should be at least 50% more than the weighted average cost of production.
The NCF has also recommended that the term “Agriculture” be inserted in the Concurrent List of the Constitution.