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Low Agricultural Income

The average income of agricultural households in the country is estimated by National Statistical Office (NSO) through the ‘Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households’ conducted from time to time.

The first such survey was conducted in rural parts of the country during National Sample Survey (NSS) 59th round (January 2003- December 2003). Thereafter, a repeat survey was conducted during NSS 70th round (January 2013- December 2013). As per the Survey results, which although not strictly comparable, the average monthly income per agricultural household from various sources is estimated to have increased from Rs. 2115 in 2003 to Rs. 6426 in 2013.

The Survey report has not mentioned the reasons for low level of income of agricultural households in the country. However, predominance of small and marginal operational holdings, low irrigation coverage, poor soil health, inadequate marketing facilities and post-harvest supporting services, and lack of focus on the allied sectors of agriculture, etc., may be attributed as main reasons for low level of growth of income of people engaged in the agriculture sector.

Growth rate of Gross Value Added (GVA) in agriculture and allied sector is directly and indirectly affected by various factors, including changes in income of agricultural households. With a view to make agriculture more remunerative, various Schemes are implemented by the Government, viz., Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY); Soil Health Card (SHC) Scheme; National Agriculture Market Scheme (e-NAM); Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY); National Food Security Mission (NFSM); Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA); Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH); and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY). Besides, Government has adopted the principle of fixing Minimum Support Price (MSP) at a level of 50 per cent over the all-India weighted average cost of production of crops.

Moreover, with a view to provide income support to all farmers’ families across the country, the Central Government has started a new Central Sector Scheme, namely, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN). The Scheme aims to provide a payment of Rs. 6000/- per year, in three installments of Rs. 2000/- each to the farmer families, subject to certain exclusions relating to higher income groups.

Government has also focused on the aggregation of small and marginal farmers into groups for overcoming market imperfections and to realize better prices for their produce.

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