Agriculture sector cannot become resilient unless various risks in agriculture are reduced, profitability is increased and stable income flows to farmers is ensured. Enumerate various reforms in agriculture India needs towards these issues.

Published: September 25, 2017

Agriculture has a major role to play in the growth of Indian economy as it employs around half of the workforce and is important for food security, source of raw material to many agro based industries.
Government aims to double the farm income by 2022 which require a number of reforms to make sector growth sustainable. The government needs to focus on 5 major issues:
Agricultural Productivity
Agricultural Productivity is currently one of the lowest at national level and high regional variation. This can be addressed through:

  1. Making available quality inputs like seeds, fertilizers at cheaper rate
  2. Shift from cereal centric policy to promoting high value crops such as fruits, vegetables.
  3. Investment in infrastructure such as irrigation, roads
  4. Extension services need to be upgraded as well as increase coverage of services and area.
  5. More focus on R&D in agriculture to develop climate change tolerant varieties.
  6. Promotion of alternative methods of cropping to conserve resources such Systemic Rice intensification for rice.

Remunerative prices to farmers
This should be addressed through:

  1. Higher Minimum support price and increasing the coverage of farmers who receive MSP.
  2. There is a need to strengthen the cold storage, supply chain integration, raise scale of farmers so that farmers do nt have to sell their perishable goods like fruits and vegetables at lower prices.
  3. Essential commodities act need to be reviewed to facilitate food processing sector which needs to stock commodities.

Land Leasing laws

  1. Most of the tenants are unofficial hence lack access to benefits like land consolidation , credit
  2. Need to be revised to make agriculture more efficient

Natural Calamities:

  1. Insurance schemes do not cover small farmers and claim settlement is slow.
  2. Need to provide at least minimum and quick relief to small and large farmers.

Regional Balance

  1. Special attention to farmers of eastern India who have abundant potential.

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