Organic farming, better irrigation facilities and market linkages for farmers are among the key recommendations of Chief Economic Advisor Dr KV Subramanian in his first Economic Survey report presented in the parliament ahead of Modi Government’s first budget after being reelected with a thumping majority.
Organic farming schemes such as the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) that promotes "location specific" farming systems, which helps make agriculture sustainable, are among the many schemes that find mention in the survey. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) that promotes various organic farming models and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) are some other schemes that the Survey lists out championing organic farming methods.
In the case of smallholder farms, which account for 80 per cent of the farms in the country, the Survey moots adoption of environment-friendly automated farm machinery tools suited to small scale operations.
The Survey once again raises the issue of improving farmers' access to market, pointing out that it is only through improved connectivity to nearby mandis that farmers will be able to get better prices for their agricultural produce.
“A combination of enhancing rural infrastructure to improve connectivity, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to provide timely information about prices, aggregation and storage facilities can help small and marginal farmers in overcoming the marketing bottlenecks,” states the Survey.
On the issue of water for agriculture, the Survey suggests a combination of measures and states that focus on agriculture should shift from ‘land productivity’ to ‘irrigation water productivity". Also, it states policies should be devised to incentivise farmers to adopt efficient ways of water use.