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A doubling of farmers’ income, a stated aim of the central government by 2022, will not happen through old practises, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He told a national meet on the issue that his administration was willing to consider any needed changes in laws or rules, without specifying any.
Panelists, in their presentations while he was there, wanted reviews of the Fertiliser Control Act, Seed Control Act and Pesticide Act. And, to bringing the Constitutional head of ‘agriculture marketing’ into the Concurrent list of subjects, from the State list. The change would mean the Centre could also propose laws on the segment, with its legislation overriding any state law. This latter change has also been suggested by an official committee on the subject of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. Several states are vehemently opposed.
“It is easier to turn a scooter but it takes a longer route to turn a big train,” Modi observed, while addressing the concluding session of the two-day conference, ‘Agriculture 2022’. The two-day meet was attended by academicians, scientists, government officials, industry representatives, farmers and other stakeholders.
Modi said after bringing bamboo grown on non-forest land out of the definition of trees, thus easing the clamps on growing and felling, his government was also looking at relaxing the felling and transit rules for other tree varieties.
Hard-selling the pro-farmer initiatives announced in his government's last full-year Budget, the PM said more agricultural credit and easier access to markets was needed to boost incomes.
He said the government would seriously look at the suggestions from the meet; Niti Aayog would prepare an actionable plan.
Modi called for efforts to come out of traditional methods in farming. Agriculture universities could perhaps organise online meets on possible solutions.
Seven groups constituted during the two-day conference recommended a host of policy and rule changes. Including a law guaranteeing a minimum price for specified crops, logistic support for perishables at airports/ports, real market information to farmers for sowing, and a fund for agricultural start-ups.