The writer is principal secretary, agriculture, government of UP. Views are personal
UP has a population of approximately 24 crore, the highest in any Indian state. Its population is exceeded by only four countries in the world and is more than that of many European countries combined.
The recent tweaks to the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, including making it 100% voluntary and capping premiums at 30%, are going to be a game-changer.
A measurable and time-bound programme for increasing organic matter content in our soils is needed to preserve and boost crop productivity.
A unique experiment in UP to deliver farm extension through mobile live streaming.
Affordable inputs, access to credit and formal land-leasing are some of the urgent requirements for the small and marginal farmer.
The work of state agriculture department staff is today largely reduced to input distribution and dishing out small subsidy sums under a plethora of fragmented schemes to farmers, as opposed to extension.
Getting the right remuneration is the most critical issue facing farmers. Government must provide policy, institutional framework for procurement.
Better designed Kisan Credit Card can help improve access to institutional credit and ensure crop insurance.
Bundelkhand being one of India’s main pulses growing belts, the impact of the drought there was also felt through the sharp spike in prices of legumes.
Uttar Pradesh has shown how DBT model is good for both farmers and the exchequer.
Farmers tend to lose out irrespective of whether crop prices go up or down. Government needs to rectify this.
This is an Open Sesame moment of sorts for Bundelkhand. The returns may not be very lucrative this year, but the crop holds tremendous hope for the future.