Panel on doubling farmers’
income to submit final report next month
panel formed by the Centre on doubling farmers’ income by 2022
will submit its final report next month, its Chairman Ashok
The Dalwai Committee, set up in April 2016, has already written
14 volumes identifying ways to double farmers’ 2015-16 income
level, in real terms, in seven years.
The committee points out that real income of farmers needs to
register a compound annual growth rate of 10.4 per cent in order
to double by 2022.
“The final report is more or less ready. We will submit it by
next month,” Dalwai told PTI.
Already, some of the panel’s recommendations are being
implemented by the government. For example, this year’s budget
announced upgrading of 22,000 gramin haats to facilitate small
and marginal farmers to integrate with organised marketing
structure, he said.
This initiative can be expected to answer the current challenges
of transacting small lots of marketable surpluses, at low cost
and from a position of bargaining strength that comes from
farmers collectives being transformed into Farmers Produce
Organisations (FPOs), he added.
“While we have to submit a final report, some of the committee’s
recommendations are parallelly being implemented by the
government,” said Dalwai, who is also the CEO of National
Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA).
The government has also come out with a draft agri export policy
following the panel’s recommendation to revisit and reorient the
trade regime from the national perspective of doubling farmers’
income, he added.
The panel has said agri-trade policy should aim to facilitate
and promote ease in doing business, rather than be restrictive
and disruptive to business planning.
According to the panel, “A uniform doubling in every region may
not be possible, albeit desirable, and due consideration to
degradation and depletion of arable land and other resources,
the human backdrop and other associated factors is necessary.”
The relatively poorer regions need to ‘catch up’ and hence their
pace of change has to be higher, it added.
The committee has observed that an increase in the Minimum
Support Price (MSP) could be one of the instruments for
enhancing farmers’ income. However, increasing the MSP may not
always have a positive outcome from the macroeconomic point of
“A more straightforward, and potentially more beneficial, means
of raising farm incomes could be reforming the marketing system
of agricultural produce, while also developing new institutions
and reviving existing ones to facilitate linking of the farmer
to the markets,” it added.
The panel said the average income of an agricultural household
during July 2012 to June 2013 was as low as Rs 6,426, as against
its average monthly consumption expenditure of Rs 6,223. As many
as 22.50 per cent of the farmers live below the official poverty
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