Doubling agricultural income in India is a gigantic task and the need of the hour in present day. The past strategies for development of agriculture sector in India have focused primarily on raising agricultural output and improving food security.
The net result has made India not only food self-sufficient, but also a net food exporting country. But, the strategy did not clearly address the need to raise farmer’s income, which is evident from the incidence of poverty among farm households. In this backdrop, the goal set to double farmer’s income is central to promote farmers welfare, reduce agrarian distress and bring parity between income of farmers and those working in nonagricultural professions. There are three primary ways in which income of farmers may be enhanced viz., increasing the gross income, reducing the costs, and stabilizing the income. Some of the innovative approaches for doubling farmer’s income are enhancing production through improved seeds, planting material and organic farming; adopting biotechnological approaches; genome editing an alternative to transgenic technology; leveraging water resources and initiating integrated water use policy; strengthening warehousing and cold chain facilities to curb post harvest losses; value addition through food processing; overcoming deficiencies in agricultural marketing through e-NAM; special focus on dry land areas; adopting smart nutrient management practices; regular income through integrated farming systems approach; income enhancement through diversification and professionalization; promoting agri-tourism and rural non-farm employment; structural reforms in agriculture pertaining to land leasing and market restrictions need to be addressed; agriculture to be brought to the concurrent. List of the constitution for better central planning; establishing Special Agriculture Zones (SAZ) by selecting export oriented and industrial use crops; promoting scientific agriculture micro-irrigation along with the nutrient application on a very large scale; precision agriculture; harnessing solar energy; agricultural diversification including secondary and specialty agriculture and leveraging the flagship programmes of the government. By adopting the above said approaches in an integrated manner, the objective of doubling farmer’s income can be achieved.
Writer: Mahipal Singh Choudhary, Piyush Choudhary, D.P. Singh, Hemraj Jat
(Writers are from Department of Agronomy Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Soil Science, Rajasthan College of Agriculture (MPUAT), Udaipur, Raj.)