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Doubling farmers’ income by 2022: Challenges before Tomar

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New Delhi, June 03: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the responsibility of doubling farmers' income by 2022 to Narendra Singh Tomar by appointing him as Union Agriculture Minister.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) 2019 manifesto promised to double farmers' income by 2022, with 2015 being the reference year.

Narendra Singh Tomar

Tomar has assumed the charge in the backdrop of large-scale agitations across the country due to farmimg distress in the last few years.

In last year's assembly polls, the BJP tasted defeat in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh largely because of farming distress in the states.

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Tomar will have to carry forward the work in this regard by the previous Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.

The ministry had invited various suggestions but none of them suggested foolproof roadmap to achieve it.

The Government constituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee to examine issues relating to doubling of farmers' income and recommend a strategy to achieve doubling of farmers' income in real terms by the year 2022.

In order to realise net positive returns for the farmer, schemes like Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme; Neem Coated Urea (NCU); Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY); Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY); National Agriculture Market scheme (e-NAM); Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY); National Food Security Mission (NFSM); Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH); National Mission on Oilseeds & Oilpalm (NMOOP); National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA); National Mission on Agricultural Extension & Technology (NMAET) and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) are being promoted and implemented in a major way through the States/Union Territories.

In addition, schemes relating to tree plantation (Har Medh Par Ped), Bee Keeping, Dairy and Fisheries are also implemented. All these schemes are implemented to enhance production and productivity of agriculture and thereby enhance the income of farmers.

The All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey says that the average monthly income per agricultural household in 2015-16 was Rs 8,931.

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According to some experts, doubling this figure by 2022 would require farmers' incomes to increase between 13 per cent and 15 per cent every year.

The Niti Aayog has put forth a four-point action plan to double the incomes of India's farmers. (i) remunerative prices for farmers by reforming the existing marketing structure, (ii) raising productivity; (iii) reforming agriculture policy; and (iv) relief measures.

One of the biggest challenges for Tomar will be to popularise Crop Insurance Scheme among farmers.

For this, he will have to convince farmers that crop insurance scheme is not only beneficial for the companies but also for farmers.

The advantage for Tomar is that he is also Rural Development and Panchyati Raj Minister as most people associated with the farming sector reside in rural areas.

All eyes will be set on Tomar whether he is able to fulfill the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi or not. If he is successful then his stature will definitely increase in the Modi cabinet. If he's not then it will not only cost him dearly, but also to Prime Minister Modi.

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