Modi as well as Jaitley have promised to double farmers’ incomes by 2022. Many doubt it to happen just with provisions in the Budget. The questions relate also if the increase promised was for real or nominal. Further, the others questions relate to the impacts of various provisions in the budget. Will FDI in food processing cut down on food spoilage at 20 per cent now make the difference? Or will the close tracking of the already sanctioned irrigation projects raise productivity? As per one media report, 23 incomplete projects may get commissioned by the end of next fiscal providing an additional irrigation infrastructure of 1.3 million hectare. Additionally, 66 projects will be given priority. The idea is to make farmer cash rich by several means:
1. Yield improvement through easy availability of genuinely better seeds, effective unadulterated fertilisers, use of its optimum amount per unit of land based on soil composition (soil health card for all 14 crore farm holdings by March 2017), 10 lakh compost pits for production of organic manure, watering at right time, in right quantity and right manner (drip instead of flood), ensuring it by spreading the irrigation network, canal, water bodies, water harvesting for water level, providing energy efficient pumps, providing rural electrification, may be solar where grid power has still not reached: Fast tracked 89 irrigation projects to irrigate 80.6 lakh hectares; at least 5 lakh farm ponds and dug wells in rain fed areas .
2. Increasing the revenue of yield through Decentralized procurement of crops by states and online procurement by the Food Corporation of India to improve targeting under minimum support price (MSP); Rolling out of the Uniform Agricultural Marketing e-Platform with increased urgency to fix the problem of price misinformation; The allocation for the price stabilization fund to contain the prices of essential commodities, especially pulses.
3. Safeguarding against eventuality through cheap highly responsive Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, a national crop insurance to protect the farmer from the adversities of agriculture, introducing direct benefit transfers (DBTs) for fertilizer subsidy,
Many proposals for rural development have been made to make positive contributions in increasing the output, the value of the output or reducing the input costs of the farmers for farming on their landholdings.
While the doubling of the farmer earning may appear to be difficult, but think for a moment what happens when all farmers are having basic knowledge of the factors that decides the productivity of farming, what can happen if the farmers start approaching the globally best yield rate of the crop, what an impact will be there if the farmer prepares his own budget and action plan to improve his earning with all the assistances that he can get from the government agencies, what happens when the farmer start using commercially best combination and rotation of crops. Unfortunately, more than 95 percent of the farmers have hardly any formal knowledge of farming science or technology. A drastic change in our education system is necessary. All those in rural India who own land and are going to be agriculturist must get a basic education and training of agriculture before entering the career. Instead of talking about all these in the air conditioned offices and auditoriums, if the agriculture scientists and experienced experts educate the grassroots, the farmers by having workshops, meetings and seminars in village school buildings and ‘panchayat ghar’.