The second part of Economic Survey of 2016-17
identified the absence of a robust marketing infrastructure
along the entire value chain of farming and excessive profiteering by middlemen as main reasons for lower than remunerative price for farmers. The Survey said timely interventions and building marketing infrastructure
would make agriculture
more resilient and ensure stable income flows to the farmers.
The Economic Survey volume two advocated expansion of irrigated areas to lower production risks, better quality of seeds, pesticides to enhance productivity. This comes against the backdrop of massive nationwide protests by farmers against sharp fall in prices of farm goods, particularly that of perishable commodities.
It also pitched for early announcement of trade and domestic policy changes
well before sowing of crops and also their stability thereafter to enable farmers to make informed sowing decisions.
The Survey also advocated providing timely and affordable measures in giving formal and institutional credit to the small and marginal farmers, which is key to inclusive growth.
It further highlighted the declining size of average farm land as a major limitation to reap the benefits of economies of scale in agriculture
operations. “The progress in agriculture
needs to be evaluated in terms of outcomes such as catching up with global yields of various crops as a means to increase incomes of farmers,” the Survey said
On horticulture sector, the Survey said that the key challenge that the horticulture sector faces in India are post-harvest losses, availability of quality planting material and lack of market access to horticultural produce of small farmers.