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Make own strategy to double farmers’ income: centre to states

LiveMint logoLiveMint 19-09-2017 PTI

New Delhi: Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh on Tuesday urged states to chalk out their own strategy to achieve the target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

The centre has already come out with a four-volume report suggesting ways to boost farmers’ income, which states will have to study and see how it can be best implemented in each state, he said. Not only does crop productivity need to be raised, but also focus on allied farm activities like timber cultivation and honeybee cultivation is required, he added. Addressing a two-day national conference to evolve a sowing strategy for the upcoming winter (rabi) season, Singh said, “The government’s aim is to increase productivity and ensure farmers get the remunerative price for their produce.”

He said that the government has launched several schemes like Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana, Soil Health Card scheme and the “neem-coated urea and electronic national agriculture market” (e-NAM) to achieve the target of doubling farmers’ income. While implementing these schemes, he said, states have to “devise their own strategy” to boost farmers’ income by focusing on production-to-post-harvest activities.

“It is our responsibility to make special efforts to improve the agricultural sector so that it provides strong trade opportunities,” he added. Echoing similar views, agriculture secretary S.K. Pattanayak said “doubling farmers’ income by 2022 should be the mantra and all of us should be working towards it. The seven key schemes have to be operationalized at field level”. He urged states to take e-NAM project seriously and put in place infrastructure to facilitate farmers to trade online.

“Once this is in place, farmers will get remunerative price and help in doubling income.” To ensure farmers get support price in times of price crash, the secretary said the centre has drafted a new market assurance scheme and asked states to study and share how they wish to implement.

On organic farming, he said only Sikkim has been declared a fully organic state till now. The centre’s target is to see entire northeast grow fully organic and funds are in place but states have to show more interest, he said. He also mentioned that states should encourage allied farm activities as it will add to the income of farmers.

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