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Agriculture – 07

Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Scheme for P&K fertilizers has already been implemented w.e.f. 1.4.2010. Under the said Scheme, a fixed amount of subsidy decided on annual basis, is provided on each grade of subsidized Phosphatic & Potassic (P&K) fertilizers depending upon its Nutrient Content. As the P&K fertilizers are decontrolled, the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) is fixed by Companies as per market dynamics at reasonable level. The government gives these subsidies through DBT (direct benefit transfer) since 2016-17. He beneficiaries are identified through Aadhaar cards, Kisan Credit cards etc.

New Urea Policy (2015) – Maximising indigenous urea production, promoting energy efficiency and rationalizing subsidy

Neem coated urea – the Department of Fertilizers had made it mandatory for all the domestic producers of urea to produce 100% as Neem Coated Urea, with the objective of promoting the balanced use of fertilizers. Entire quantity of indigenously produced urea and imported urea is being neem coated w.e.f 1st September, 2015 and w.e.f 1st December, 2015 respectively.

Soil health card – under this scheme Soil Health Cards are provided to all farmers at an interval of 2 years launched in 2015 comes under the ministry of Agriculture and farmer’s welfare. These cards provide information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendation on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility. Soil Health Card provides two sets of fertilizer recommendations for six crops including recommendations of organic manures.  Farmers can also get recommendations for additional crops on demand.  They can also print the card as their own from SHC portal. SHC portal has farmers database of both the cycles and is available in 21 languages for the benefit of the farmers.

Hence the above discussed various schemes and programmes of the government has been significant in the development of agriculture sector in our country and achieve the target of production and export.

In the next section we will discuss the state of farmers and the capital needs and monetary protection for their livelihood and efficient development of the agricultural sector.

AGRICULTRAL CAPITAL AND INCOME

As discussed previously it is observed that agricultural sector is burdened with disguised employment, poverty and distress. Hence the financial inclusion and development of these 40 crore people is the most important step in this sector which will have socio-economic impact as well. Several programme like food security, national nutritional mission, MGNREGA, rural infrastructure development programs has catered to the need. The latest strategy being followed is discussed below.

Doubling farmer’s income

The Prime Minister unveiled this strategy in 2017 to double the farmers income in 5 years i.e. by 2022.

The DFI strategy include seven sources of income growth

  • improvement in crop productivity
  • improvement in livestock productivity
  • resource use efficiency or savings in the cost of production
  • increase in the cropping intensity
  • diversification towards high value crops
  • improvement in real prices received by farmers
  • Shift from farm to non-farm occupations.

The NITI Aayog has given an action plan under the three-year Action Agenda 2017-2020. The four point action plan includes:

  1. Remunerative prices for farmers by reforming the existing market structure
  2. Raising productivity
  3. Reforming agricultural land policy
  4. Relief measures

These strategies translate into the following steps:

  • Irrigation with large budget for More crop per drop
  • Provision of quality seeds and nutrient based on soil health of each field
  • Large investment in warehouses an cold chain storage to prevent post-harvest loses
  • Promotion of value addition through food processing
  • Creation of national farm market, removing distortions and e-platform across 585 stations.
  • Introduction of a new crop insurance scheme to mitigate risks at affordable cost
  • Promotion of ancillary activates like poultry, beekeeping and fisheries

Other schemes to boost farm income

PM-KISAN

With a view to provide income support to all farmers’ families across the country, to enable them to take care of expenses related to agriculture and allied activities as well as domestic needs, the Central Government started a new Central Sector Scheme, namely, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN). The scheme aims to provide a payment of Rs. 6000/- per year, in three 4-monthly installments of Rs. 2000/- to the farmers families, subject to certain exclusions relating to higher income groups.

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