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Indian Agriculture & Doubling Farmers’ income

2023 MAR 16

Mains   > Agriculture   >   Allied areas   >   Feminization of Agriculture


  • In a written reply, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare informed the Lok Sabha that the efforts of the Government to double the income of farmers have yielded very positive results.


  • The government had constituted a committee chaired by Ashok Dalwai in April, 2016 to examine issues relating to ‘Doubling of Farmers Income (DFI)’ and recommended strategies to achieve the same.
  • The Committee submitted its final report to the Government in 2018 and identified following seven sources of income growth:
    1. Increase in crop productivity
    2. Increase in livestock productivity
    3. Resource use efficiency – reduction in cost of production
    4. Increase in cropping intensity
    5. Diversification to high value agriculture
    6. Remunerative prices on farmers’ produce
    7. Shift of surplus manpower from farm to non-farm occupations



Government has adopted and implemented several policies, reforms, developmental programmes and schemes for achieving higher incomes for the farmers directly or indirectly. These include:

  • Enhancement in budget allocation:
    • The budget allocation for Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has increased from Rs.27662.67 crore in 2013-14 to Rs. 1.3 lakh crore in 2022-23.
  • PM KISAN Samman Nidhi:
    • Under the scheme, an income support of Rs. 6,000/- per year in three equal instalments is provided to all land holding farmer families.
    • State Government and UT administration will identify the beneficiaries and fund will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
    • More than Rs. 2 lakh crores have been released so far to approximately 11.3 crore eligible farmer families.
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY):
    • PMFBY was launched in 2016 addressing problems of high premium rates for farmers and reduction in sum insured due to capping.
    • There will be a uniform premium of only 2% to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops.
    • In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5%.
  • Kisan Credit Card:
    • A Kisan Credit Card (KCC) is a credit delivery mechanism that is aimed at enabling farmers to have quick and timely access to affordable credit.
    • Benefit of concessional institutional credit through KCC at 4% interest per annum has also now been extended to Animal Husbandry and Fisheries farmers.
    • A special drive has been undertaken since February 2020 to provide concessional institutional credit with focus on covering all PM-KISAN beneficiaries through Kisan Credit Cards (KCC).
  • Minimum Support Price (MSP):
    • Government has increased the MSP with a return of at least 50% over all India weighted average cost of production from 2018-19. Also, MSP is revised periodically.
  • Promotion of organic farming:
    • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) was initiated to promote organic farming in the country. Under the programme, financial assistance of Rs 50000/ha/3 years is provided for cluster formation, capacity building, incentive for inputs, value addition and marketing.
    • Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Padhati (BPKP) is being implemented as a sub scheme of PKVY since 2020-21 for the promotion of traditional indigenous practices.
    • Under Namami Gange Programme, farmers have taken-up organic farming on either side of the river Ganga.
    • Mission Organic Value Chain Development in North East Region (MOVCDNER) is a sub-mission under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture, for development of commercial organic farming in the region
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana:
    • PMKSY was launched with an aim to enhance physical access of water on farm and expand cultivable area under assured irrigation, improve on farm water use efficiency, and to introduce sustainable water conservation practices.
    • PMKSY is an umbrella scheme, consisting of four components:
      • Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP)
      • Har Khet Ko Pani (HKKP)
      • Per Drop More Crop (PDMC)
      • Watershed Development component (WDC)
  • Micro Irrigation Fund
    • A Micro Irrigation Fund of initial corpus Rs 5000 crore has been created with NABARD. In the Budget Announcement for 2021-22, the corpus of the fund is to be increased to Rs.10000 crores.
  • Promotion of Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs)
    • To bring scales of economy to agricultural operations a new Central Sector Scheme for Formation & Promotion of new 10,000 FPOs was launched in 2020.
  • National Beekeeping and Honey Mission (NBHM): 
    • It was launched in 2020 as part of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to increase productivity of crops through pollination and increase in honey production as an additional source of income.  
  • Agricultural Mechanization:
    • Subsidy, custom hiring centers, high-tech hubs and farm machinery banks have been established to make available agricultural machines and equipments available to farmers. 
  • Soil Health Cards:
    • Soil health card provides 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. 
  • National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) scheme:
    • National Agriculture Market (NAM) is a pan India electronic trading portal which networks the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities.
  • National Mission for Edible Oils – Oil Palm:
    • The scheme aims to raise the domestic production of palm oil by three times to 11.20 lakh tonnes by 2025-26 and to 28 lakh tonnes by 2029-30.
    • It is proposed to have an additional 6.5 lakh hectares for palm oil by 2025-26. The ultimate target is to reach 10 lakh hectares. 
  • Agri Infrastructure Fund (AIF):
    • With the support of the scheme, various agriculture infrastructures were created, such as warehouses, primary processing units, custom hiring centres, sorting & grading units and cold stores.
  • Kisan Rail:
    • Kisan Rail has been launched by Ministry of Railways to exclusively cater to movement of perishable commodities.
  • Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH):
    • MIDH is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector covering fruits, vegetables, bamboo, tuber crops etc.
    • The Cluster Development Programme (CDP) under MIDH is designed to leverage geographical specialisation of horticulture clusters and promote integrated and market-led development of pre-production, production, post-harvest, logistics, branding, and marketing activities.
    • It is aimed at strengthening infrastructure in Agriculture and Allied sectors by building Agripreneurship & Agri-Business ecosystem in the country, facilitating financial aid to potential Agristartups and nurturing a system of business incubation.
  • Achievement in Export of Agri and Allied Agri- Commodities:
    • As compared to the year 2015-16, the Agri and allied export has increased from 32.81 billion USD in 2015-16 to 50.24 billion USD in 2021-22 i.e. an increase of 53.1%.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana:
    • It is an umbrella scheme implemented by Ministry of Food Processing Industries and aims at increasing value addition in agricultural sector.
    • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Uttham Mahabhiyan was launched to endow installation of off-grid solar pumps in rural areas.
    • It aims to enable farmers to set up solar power generation capacity on their arid lands and to sell it to the grid.
    • It also seeks to increase the income of farmers by allowing them to sell surplus solar power to the grid.


  • Ambiguity over base year:
    • Government has not provided any details on what the base year for this goal is or what the targeted income to be achieved by the 2022 deadline is.  
  • Difficulty in estimation:
    • Ashok Dalwai committee had used the NSSO’s 2013 income data and extrapolated it for 2015-16. But there has been no further assessment of the farmers income thereafter.
  • Reduction in budgetary allocation:
    • The allocation for agriculture in the union budget has been declining in recent years: from 3.78% of the total budget share in 2021-22 to 3.36% in 2022-23, and 2.78 % in 2023-24.
  •   Declining size of landholding:
    • Around 86% of agrarian landholdings in India are of size less than two hectares. They have diverse farming practices and many lack title deeds (patta). So, a one-size-fits-all approach is not suited for these farmers.
  • Land degradation:
    • According to ‘Desertification and Land Degradation of Selected Districts of India’, an atlas published by the ISRO, about 29.32% of the Total Geographic Area (TGA) of the country is undergoing degradation.
  • Groundwater depletion:
    • Monoculture of water intensive crops in the semi-arid Punjab plains has resulted in groundwater depletion and desertification.
  • Excessive use of chemicals:
    • Indian farmers use fertilizers without taking into consideration the actual requirement of the crops and existing composition of soil nutrients
    • For instance, while the desirable ratio of N-P-K application is 4:2:1, it is 31.4:8:1 in Punjab.
  • Access to formal agricultural credit:
    • As per the NABARD All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey 2016-17, more than half the agricultural households in the country have outstanding debt. In this, a large share is indebted to informal sources such as moneylenders.
  • Uncertainties in agriculture:
    • Indian agriculture is vulnerable to various factors like erratic monsoon, MSP regime, buffer stock levels and government policies on imports. This, coupled with the rainfed and subsistence nature of farming, makes agriculture less attractive for the youth.
  • Feminisation of agriculture:
    • In India, agriculture employs about 80% of rural women. But they are offered lower wages and lag behind in terms of land and asset ownership.
    • For eg: 85% of rural women in India are working in agriculture, yet only 14% of them own any land.
  • Limited level of mechanisation:
    • Mechanization continues to be limited in the late stages of agriculture, such as harvesting and threshing.
  • Fragmented supply chain:
    • Due to storage of storage facilities, cold storages and transportation system, the supply chain system in India remains highly fragmented. This has resulted in low price realization, poor quality and wastage of products.
  • Conflicts in WTO:
    • India’s farm subsidy policies have come under the scanner at the World Trade Organization (WTO). This has restricted India from extending strong support to the farmers and traders.
  • Political challenge:
    • Following the success of green revolution, agrarian unions have emerged as a major vote bank and pressure group in India. In this situation, initiating agrarian reforms, like the three farm acts, have proved to be challenging.


  • Initiate agrarian reforms:
    • Increasing the productivity, profitability and sustainability of agriculture is crucial for improving farmers income. For this, accessibility and affordability to high yielding seeds and plant breeds, formal credit, critical infrastructures like irrigation, pre and post-harvest treatment, storage and transport infrastructure needs to be improved.
  • Enhance competitiveness:
    • Markets reforms must be undertaken to enhance the quality and cost competitiveness of farm commodities to make them globally competitive. In this regard, the three farm laws must be revisited.
  • Make agriculture attractive:
    • Professionalism in agriculture will not be possible without adequate entrepreneurship opportunities and professional courses in agriculture. Hence for the same, a conducive ecosystem must be created.
  • Empower women:
    • Empowering and mainstreaming rural women workforce in agriculture can bring paradigm shift towards economic growth.
  • Leverage on technology:
    • India needs to utilize the opportunities from genetic modification and IT enabled solutions such as Artificial intelligence and Big data to leverage the full potentials of Indian agriculture.
  • Promote cooperatives:
    • Cooperatives strengthens collective bargaining power among the farmers. Hence, government efforts are needed to rejuvenate the cooperative movement and farmer producer organisations in the country.
  • Encourage research:
    • Agriculture research in India is slow to come by and is largely restricted to the public sector. Hence, focus must be given on enhancing agri-research and encouraging private investments in R and D.


Q. Give an account of the various efforts taken by the government towards doubling farmers’ income in India?

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