BY RITWIK SINHA
Ashok Dalwai, the chairman of Government’s high-powered committee on doubling farmers income (DFI) and CEO of the National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA), has strongly emphasized that the government is sparing no efforts in delivering on its epic-scale promise of doubling farmers income in the country by 2022.
“Policy formulation and implementation generally has a lot of hiatus. But that is not the case when it comes to our vision of doubling farmers income,” Dalwai told indoasiancommodities.com in a recent exclusive conversation while responding to the criticism expressed recently in certain quarters that not much action is visible on what is believed to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet and most ambitious programme.
Dalwai committee after submitting its report has been asked by the union government to supervise the implementation of the programme by co-ordinating with central government ministries and state government agencies.
Specifying the steps, Dalwai underlined that achieving the grand vision will result from the cumulative impact and alignment of a slew of steps and the government has been quite agile in rolling out several components of a comprehensive programme.
“ The government has clearly focused more on post-harvest management. More marketing acts have been brought in, we have created more eNAM platforms for market integration and there is more emphasis on food processing,” he emphasized.
He also pointed out the critical modification in the MSP mechanism which has started delivering positive results. “MSPs have not only gone through very substantive change, MSP notification is now also combined with a stronger procurement system. As a result, the procurement of pulses has gone up by 19 percent and oil seeds by 11 percent of the total production which is helping farmers involved with these crops,” he explained.
Dalwai also emphasized that the government has been pro-active in improving programmes like soil health card scheme linked to reducing cultivation cost. Plus, more area has been brought under irrigation under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP). “ PM Kisan Yojna is providing monetary benefit of Rs 6,000 per annum to farmers which is supplementary income and the ambit of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna has become much wider. All this is indicative of our seriousness in delivering on that grand vision,” he summed up while exuding confidence that the next round of NSSO estimates on farmers income will definitely display significant improvement. The last sample survey was undertaken in 2012-13.