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Steps to enhance the income of farmers

Government is taking several steps to enhance the income of farmers including:-

(i)         Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme by which the farmers can know the major and minor nutrients available in their soils which will ensure judicious use of fertiliser application and reduce cost of inputs and improve soil fertility.

 (ii)        Neem Coated Urea is being promoted to regulate use of urea, enhance its availability to the crop and reduce cost of fertilizer application. 

 (iii)       Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) is being implemented with a view to promote organic farming in the country. 

 (iv)       The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) is being implemented to expand cultivated area with assured irrigation, reduce wastage of water and improve water use efficiency.

 (v)        The National Agriculture Market scheme (e-NAM) was envisaged as initiation of e-marketing platform at national level and will support creation of infrastructure to enable e-marketing in 585 regulated markets across the country by March 2018. So far, 455 markets of 13 States have been integrated with e-NAM. 

 (vi)       Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is being implemented that would provide insurance cover for all stages of the crop cycle including post-harvest risks in specified instances.

 (vii) Under Interest Subvention Scheme 2016-17, in order to provide relief to the farmers on occurrence of natural calamities, the interest subvention of 2% shall continue to be available to banks for the first year on the restructured amount. 

  (viiiRashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) enables Governments to further implement the scheme in the State as per its requirement in areas which requires focused attention for increasing production and productivity in the State. 

 (ix)  Under National Food Security Mission (NFSM), a Centrally Sponsored scheme assistance is provided to farmers for distribution of Seeds (HYVs/Hybrids), production of seeds (only in pulses), INM and IPM techniques, resource conservation technologies/tools/farm mechanization, efficient water application tools, cropping system based trainings to farmers and also assistance for value addition.

 (x) The objective of National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm (NMOOP) programme is to increase production and productivity of oilseeds for meeting the domestic requirement of vegetable oil.

 (xi)  Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, is being implemented w.e.f. 2014-15, for holistic growth of the horticulture sector covering fruits

vegetable, root and tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, cocoa and bamboo. 


The other steps taken by farmers to enhance the income of farmers are as under:

 (i)         The Government has drafted a new model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2017, provides the options of alternate markets beyond the existing APMC regulated market yards including private markets, direct marketing, farmer-consumer markets, special commodity markets, declaring warehouses/silos/cold storages or such structures as market sub yards and Market Yards of National Importance (MNI) so as to reduce the number of intermediaries between producer and buyer and increase the share of the farmer in consumer’s rupee.

 (ii)        The Government undertakes procurement of wheat and paddy under its ‘MSP operations’. In addition, Government implements Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for procurement of agricultural and horticultural commodities not covered under the Minimum Price Support Scheme on the request of State/UT Government. The MIS is implemented in order to protect the growers of these commodities from making distress sale in the event of bumper crop when the prices tend to fall below the economic level/cost of production.

 (iii)       MSP is notified for both Kharif & Rabi crops based on the recommendations of the Commission on Agriculture Costs & Prices (CACP). The Commission collects & analyses data on cost of cultivation and recommends MSP.  To incentivise cultivation of pulses and oilseeds in the country, Government has announced bonus for Kharif 2017-18, over & above the approved MSP.

 Government led other market interventions such as Price Stabilization Fund and Food Corporation of India operations also supplement efforts to enhance the income of farmers. 

 Apart from the above, the Government is also focusing on ancillary activities like Bee-keeping for increasing of farmers’ income.

Anti-Farm Bias

Anti-Farm Bias

India’s early development strategy  – rapid industrialization through import substitution: 
  • Wages were kept low – thus, food grains prices controlled too – inputs costs of farmers subsidized.
  • Restrictions on agricultural export.
Problem areas :
  • Still, more than half the population depends on farming and related activities.
  • The Arthur Lewis model of an infinite supply of low-cost labor from rural sector didn’t work much.
  • Farm subsidies cornered mostly by large farmers.
  • Subsidies created distortions, like, urea overuse, etc. Also, free power(electricity) distorted companies’ balance sheets.
  • PDS achieved limited success – rural incomes didn’t rise akin to GDP – actually turned out net negative ( Western nations’ model achieved positive!)
Current Scenario:
  • Farm sector still distressed – 2 recent droughts.
  • The blight of farmers suicide.
  • Farm income dipped below 1% rise since 2011-12.
  • Inadequate job creation in rest of the economy.
Other Dynamic Issues:
  • No focused lobbying voice – because of too large and too fragmented a sector.
  • Conflicting interests at times.
  • Politicization of issues.
Inherent Anti-Farm Bias – How?
  • Minimum Import Price (MIP) introduced in certain industrial sectors to deal with dumping in the country. But, farm sectors suffer from Minimum Export Price (MEP) to discourage exports.
  • Inflation measure used is CPI – has 52% food-related component – monetary policy will be implicitly deflationary on the farm sector.
  • Cotton prices have risen – demands from textile sector raised for the export ban or end-use restrictions on cotton – negatively impacts cotton farmers.
Way Out:
1. Recommendations by Pulses Panel led by CEA:
  • Allow export of pulses.
  • Raise Public Procurement by 6 to 10 times.
  • Hike M.S.P. by 15%.
2. Union Budget target of doubling farm incomes in next 6 years.
3. NITI Aayog has identified a 5-pronged strategy to improve farm livelihood.
4. 2006 report on National Commission (M.S. Swaminathan Committee) on Farmers should be a guide.
Sources of Farm Income :
  • Cultivation,
  • Livestock,
  • Wage Employment, &,
  • Other non-farm activities.


Type of Seeds

There are 4 types of seeds, Breeder Seeds, Foundation Seeds, Certified Seeds and Hybrid seeds.

1. Breeder Seeds:

A seed or vegetative propagating material directly controlled by the originating or sponsoring plant breeder of the breeding programme or institution (such as seed company or organization) and/ or seed whose production is personally supervised by a qualified plant breeder and which provides the source for the initial and recurring increase of foundation seed is called a Breeder Seed. The breeder is protected by some rights called as Breeder’s rights.

– Breeder seed is the primary stage of seed production cycle.

– The Breeder seed is further multiplied into the foundation and certified seeds.

– In India main institution which produced Breeder seeds is Indian Council of Agricultural Research. The other institutions are National Seeds Corporation, States Farms Corporation and agricultural universities in India.

– India faces a short supply of Oil and Pulses Breeder seeds, the efforts to improve supply of oil and pulses seeds are on.

2. Foundation Seeds:

Offspring’s of the Breeder seed which can be clearly traced to Breeder seed are called Foundation Seeds. They are further Bred to give rise to Certified seeds. The production of the foundation seeds must be acceptable to a certification agency. A person or company who grows and distributes the certified seeds in accordance with the procedure and specifications of the certification agency is called Certified Seed Producer.

– The National Seeds Corporation (NSC), State Farms Corporation of India (SFCI) have the responsibility to produce foundation seeds which suit to demand of national varieties.

– The State Seed Corporations produce the foundation seeds to suit to local demands.

3.Certified Seeds:

Certified seed is the progeny of foundation seed and must meet the standards of seed certification prescribed in the Indian Minimum Seeds Certification Standards, 1988. Its production is handled as to maintain specific genetic identity and purity according to the standards prescribed for the crop being certified. In case of self pollinated crops, certified seeds can also be produced from certified seeds provided it does not go beyond three generations from foundation seed stage-I.

– The percentage of area sown out of total area of crop planted in the season by using certified/quality seeds other than the farm saved seed is called Seed Replacement Rate. A better seed replacement rate shows a better utilization of the Certified / Quality Seeds.

4. Hybrid Seeds:

Hybrid seed is produced by artificially cross-pollinated plants and they are the first generation resulting from crossing of two varieties or parents which are two approved inbred lines or parents , one of which is male sterile.


  • Biofertilizers Contains living microorganisms which, colonizes the Rhizosphere or the interior of the plant and promotes growth by increasing the supply or availability of primary nutrients to the host plant.
  • Bio-fertilizers add nutrients through the natural processes of nitrogen fixation, solubilizing phosphorus.
  • Bio-fertilizers can be expected to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Bio-fertilizers such as Rhizobium, Azotobacter, Azospirilium and Blue Green Algae (BGA) have been in use a long time. Rhizobium inoculant is used for leguminous crops.
  • Azotobacter can be used with crops like wheat, maize, mustard, cotton, potato and other vegetable crops.
  • Azospirillum inoculations are recommended mainly for sorghum, millets, maize, sugarcane and wheat.
  • Blue Green Algae belonging to a general Cyanobacteria genus, Nostoc or Anabaena or Tolypothrix or Aulosira, fix atmospheric nitrogen and are used as inoculations for paddy crop grown both under upland and low-land conditions. Anabaena in association with water fern Azolla contributes nitrogen up to 60 kg/ha/season and also enriches soils with organic matter.
  • Other types of bacteria, so-called phosphate-solubilizing bacteria, such as Pantoea agglomerans strain P5 or Pseudomonas Putida Strain P13 are able to solubilize the insoluble phosphate from organic and inorganic phosphate sources.

Difference between MSP, Procurement Price and Issue price?

Minimum Support Price is the price which is announced before the crop sowing. This the price at which government is required to buy the crop whether the market price is less or more. GoI announcing it since 1966-67.

Procurement price is announced after the harvesting and it is higher than MSP. Since the fiscal 1968- 69 the government announced only the Minimum Support Price which is also considered as procurement price.

Finally, the Issue Price is the one at which goods are released from FCI (Food Corporation of India). Here, the difference between MSP and Issue Price is called SUBSIDY.

For Example: Let’s say the MSP of Wheat is 10/Kg. The issue price of wheat from FCI to general population is 2/Kg. The balance 10-2= 8 is the subsidy amount. This subsidy component is borne by Government.


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