New Delhi | 16 Feb 2018
Finally, Modi government has woken up on doubling the farmers income issue with just a year left in tenure. It has now decided to organize a two-day national conference on February 19-20 to brainstorm and chalk out a roadmap to achieve the government’s target to double farmers’ income by 2022.
“We are organising a national conference ‘Agriculture 2022 – Doubling Farmers Income’ on February 19-20 at Pusa,” Agriculture Secretary S K Pattanayak told reporters on Friday.
“In the conference, we will discuss the issues plaguing the agriculture sector and what could be the solution in near, medium and long term. We are looking for practical solutions that can be implemented in the field across the country,” he said.
The conference would focus on seven broad themes centred around farmers welfare, he added.
Terming the conference as PR exercise to convey the message that they are serious about agri crisis, food and agri policy expert Devinder Sharma said, “For the four years the government did not do anything for worsening agri crisis and now they are just drawing optics for elections 2019”.
Who are responsible for agri crisis are being asked to find solutions, he commented.
“We need structural reforms in agriculture and overhauling of agri policy”, he said.
He further said, “It’s time to move from price policy to income policy. CACP should be renamed as Commission for Farmers Income & Welfare with the mandate to assure Rs18,000 as minimum monthly income for a farming family”.
Government has not yet stated what the average monthly income of farmers would be in 2022. Doubling the current annual income of Rs 20000 as computed by National Sample Survey to Rs 40000 will have no meaning.
Recently, Pawan K Varma, a member for JD (U) also wrote, “If in five years this is doubled, it would mean they would earn Rs 40,000 or so, which amounts to Rs 3,500 a month, and not even that if inflation is factored in”.
Around 300 participants including farmers, scientists, economists, policy makers, representatives of farmers and trade associations, corporates and officials from Centre as well as state governments are expected to attend the conference. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the meeting on the second day. NITI Aayog and related union ministries would also attend the meet.