Topic – Inclusive growth and issues arising from it.
6) The conversation on raising farmer income needs to embrace non-farm diversification. Examine, with examples. (250 words)
Why this question
The government has an objective of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. However farming distress is worsening and there are not much hopes in this regard. Therefore it is vital to discuss as to how farmers’ income can be doubled by analyzing the role of non-farm diversification.
Examine- here we have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to delve deeper into the agricultural crisis in India and bring out the need for non-farm diversification so as to increase the farmers’ income.
Structure of the answer
Write a few introductory lines about the issues plaguing the agricultural sector- small and marginal landholdings, lack of access to agricultural credit, environmental degradation, low value addition etc, which in turn affect the agricultural income.
- Bring out the need for non-farm diversification. E.g A recent survey by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (All India Rural Financial Inclusion Survey) shows that the average monthly income of rural households is ₹8,059, with agricultural households deriving only 43% of their income from agriculture; most of it is from providing daily wage labour and government jobs; The government has sought to double farmer income by raising minimum support prices, but such initiatives would apply directly only to 48% of rural India, with non-agricultural households being left behind; Diversification, away from marginal farming, helps to overcome land constraint to income growth, while allowing farmers to cope with exogenous shocks through additional income. In some cases, it ‘even allows them to reinvest in productivity enhancing agricultural technologies’ etc.
- Discuss the examples of non farm diversification. E.g discuss the importance of livestock and improving the conditions of construction workers, the two areas which employ agricultural families/ workers on a large scale.
Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.