The writer is chair professor for agriculture at ICRIER. Views are personal
Whichever party comes to power at the Centre, India is making a policy shift to direct income support.
Both BJP’s PM Kisan and Congress’s Nyay acknowledge that small and marginal farmers and bottom 20 per cent of population have not benefited from current policies. But both schemes raise further questions.
Income support under PM-Kisan is only one small step. It must be complemented by large-scale reforms in agri-marketing and trade policies.
When it comes to agriculture growth, the NDA government compares poorly with its immediate predecessor. The next government must initiate structural reforms, set realistic targets
But last-minute attempts, ahead of elections, are no substitute for the structural reforms and investments needed in the agriculture sector.
Direct income support for farmers is too late, too little
Implicitly taxed through restrictive marketing and trade policies, farmers need a stable income policy.
An income transfer policy combined with direct cash transfer is the best way to help the farmer
Loan waivers are poll bait. What is needed is a structured and stable income support policy.
Why assembly election verdicts should occasion a rethink on loan waivers, MSP raises
In the absence of patience and vision, the loan waiver remains the most favoured response to farm distress
Manifesto pledges to raise farmers’ incomes and increase MSPs take away focus from the structural reforms that are urgently required.
Maharashtra needs to urgently address gross inequity in irrigation water distribution to deal with drought situations.
The real tribute to Patel would be to carry out large-scale structural reforms in agri-markets to ensure that a higher percentage of the consumer’s rupee goes to farmers.
Biotechnology can be a game-changer in the battle against malnutrition in much the same way that the Green Revolution was in ensuring self sufficiency.
Supporting agriculture through input subsidies is the ‘dumb’ approach. Priority must now be given to investment in the sector and ensuring farmers have access to the latest technologies.
The sugar industry faces a crisis of plenty. Unless bold steps are taken quickly, it can prove costly to the Modi government.
State’s decision to make MSP mandatory for traders will lead to chaos. The way forward is to treat farmers as businessmen and facilitate an environment in which they can flourish.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s decision to allow cultivation of Bt cotton was transformative. Modi government must fulfill his vision by enlarging the scope of biotechnology in agriculture.
NABARD’s new survey offers a baseline to double farmers’ incomes. But is a survey done in a drought year a reliable yardstick?