‘Exports are the key to doubling farmers’ incomes’
HYDERABAD, JANUARY 17: Incremental additions to growth in agricultural sector won’t help in doubling the incomes of farmers as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. What the country needs to do is to encourage exports and go for structural reforms in the agricultural sector, according to experts.
The experts who gathered at a workshop organised by the Centre for Good Governance (CGG) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) felt that the focus on production based strategies should make way for efforts to increase farmers’ incomes.
“If we want to double the incomes of farmers by 2022, we should achieve a compounded annual growth rate of 14.5 per cent in the next five years as against 3.2 per cent in the last 20 years,” S Narsing Rao, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Telangana, has said. In order to achieve that level of growth, the country should focus on exports.
“Farmers should be allowed to sell their produce wherever they want. We need to have policies to make it possible,” he said.
He felt that it was the responsibility of the governments and not that of farmers to protect the interests of consumers.
Mohan Kanda, former Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, felt that the sector needed structural reforms. Superficial interventions would not help.
C Parathasarathi, Secretary (Agriculture and Cooperation) of Telangana, said that farmers faced four important challenges in the form of climate change that resulted in cyclical droughts, capital risks (timely availability of credit), price and technology risks.