Economic Survey 2016-17 Volume II: Agriculture and Food Management Reforms Measures

The Economic Survey 2016-17 Volume II released recently has taken into consideration various challenges faced by the Agriculture sector in India. It has suggested multi-dimensional Agricultural and Food Management Reforms Measures.
  • Small Operational Land Holdings: The average farm size in India is small and declining since 1970-71. It is a major limitation to reap the benefits of economies of scale in agriculture operations.
  • Credit: The predominance of informal sources of credit for farmers is a concern. Moreover, there is regional disparity in the distribution of agricultural credit.
  • Post- harvest losses: The horticulture sector in India faces problems like post-harvest losses, availability of quality planting material and lack of market access for horticultural produce of small farmers. 
Reforms suggested
  • Price risks in agriculture and allied sectors: Strengthening and building marketing infrastructure along the entire value chain.
  • Production risks: The share of irrigated area should be expanded by increasing the coverage of water saving irrigation systems like micro irrigation systems.
  • Increase productivity of crops: Standards should be set and enforced for better quality, pest and disease resistant seeds.
  • Trade and domestic policy changes: It should be announced well before sowing and should stay till arrivals and procurement is over.
  • Enhance women’s involvement in the dairy projects: Funds should be earmarked through appropriate mechanisms.
  • Formal and institutional credit: It should be provided in timely and affordable manner to the small and marginal farmers is the key to inclusive growth. Regime based on timely interventions needs to be adopted.

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