Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

Agricultural Field 1

When India implemented the lockdown, agricultural fields were full of crops ready for harvesting. It was timely action of the Indian government and endless toil of the farmers that saved the crops from rotting. If the crops were not harvested on time, not only would the farmers be hit by tremendous financial loss, but the huge population of India would have to face a shortage of essential food grains.

The government took various steps at lightning-fast speed allowing farmers access to the required labor and machineries that enabled harvesting of crops on time. Launching the KisanRath App, helped farmers transport their produce conveniently to markets without the inclusion of middlemen. Provisions were made to help farmers smooth transit despite the lockdown limitations. Farmers’ markets were allowed to stay open enabling farmers to sell their crops at the right price.

Farmers have been the real heroes of this pandemic. Just like the doctors and police personnel, farmers too have worked on their field like Corona-warriors. It is the farmers’ endless toils on fields in hot afternoons that delivered essential food grains on the table of every Indian.

Agriculture plays a crucial role in India’s economy, and the government of India has implemented various agri-reforms to take farmers forward and uplift their economic status. Increasing the number of farmers’ markets and launching ten thousand FPOs were a part of this initiative. Some of the important measures that the government has taken to help farmers are:

  • Make scientifically superior seeds available for cultivation
  • Reduce farming investment by introducing “Zero-Budget Farming”
  • Making warehousing and cold storage facilities available
  • Enabling the selling of crops at the right price
  • Encourage organic farming

The farmers are also provided with adequate guidance and training to help them make their own products from the crops they produce. Loans (without mortgage) of up to Rs. 3 Crore would be made available in the rural sector for setting up food processing units and the likes. The honorable Prime Minister has also declared tax concessions and a financial package of Rs. 1 Lakh Crore for the agricultural sector. All these initiatives will help in building a robust agricultural infrastructure.

The need of the hour is collaboration – farmers, FPOs and corporates should all come together and work in tandem to establish a chain for smooth movement of crops from farmers’ fields to the stores. These are challenging times but if all of us work together it is definitely possible to fulfill the prime minister’s vision of doubling the income of the farmers by 2022 and give a much-needed boost to the country’s economy.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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