- (-)0.2% in 2014-15
- 1% in 2015-16
The distress in agriculture is due to two factors:
- The crash in global commodity prices
- Deficit rainfall for two years in a row
- 10 states have declared drought this year.
Forward and backward linkages :
Low agriculture growth also affects the prospects of manufacturing and services. For example, tractor sales have declined.
A two-pronged strategy is required:
- Raising productivity and incomes of farmers
- Climate-resilient agriculture
Increase in productivity:
- Investment in infrastructure such as irrigation, rural roads and electricity.
- Public investment in rural infrastructure is crucial.
- The PMKSY and RKVY are good initiatives.
- Water-use efficiency has to be increased.
- The use of drip irrigation should be encouraged.
Climate-resilient agriculture (CRA):
- Diversified cropping systems in view of climate-related risks.
- Crop insurance for risk mitigation: Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
- Research and extension systems.
- Reforms in fertilizer subsidies: These are overdue and subsidies should be directly given to farmers.
- Legalizing tenancy increase private investment in agriculture.
- Remunerative prices and development of markets: national agricultural market, an online platform for selling agricultural produce
- Farmer producer organizations (FPOs) have to be strengthened.
FPO is one of the important initiatives taken by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture to mainstream the idea of promoting and strengthening member-based institutions of farmers.
As per the concept, farmers, who are the producers of agricultural products, can form groups and register themselves under the Indian Companies Act. These can be created both at State, cluster, and village levels. It is aimed at engaging the farmer companies to procure agricultural products and sell them.