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Fixing farm income is not so simple; govt must take the hard path

The debate must go beyond the binaries spun out by politicians who either condemn the new farm Bills or consider them the agricultural equivalent of the 1991 de-licensing of industry, writes T N Ninan

Topics
agriculture economy | Weekend Ruminations | Agriculture reform

T N Ninan 



T N Ninan

There are two ways to increase a farmer’s income. One is through higher . The other is higher prices. The only way to get higher prices without hitting the consumer is by increasing the farmer’s share of the retail price. There are three ways of doing that: The government offers a minimum price guarantee (as with foodgrain) along with a price subsidy, or it mandates a minimum price (for sugarcane) that bulk customers (sugar mills) have to pay. The third option is for farmers to organise themselves as cooperatives, cut out middlemen, and/or capture greater value by processing the raw output. The best example is milk cooperatives. The global success stories in cooperative action are California’s Blue Diamond almonds and Norwegian salmon.

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First Published: Fri, September 25 2020. 19:54 IST

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