The longest agitation of farmers isn’t just to repeal the three farm legal guidelines but in addition towards the frustration constructed over the a long time as a result of poor monetary positive factors within the agriculture sector. As per the accessible newest Situation Assessment Survey (SAS) of agricultural households by the National Statistical Office (NSO), an common agricultural family earned a month-to-month revenue of Rs 10,218 in 2018-19.
The authorities has had a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for a number of a long time now, however that has not resolved the issue of agrarian misery. In this context, it is very important consider MSP as a coverage possibility in addition to the Agriculture Export Policy (AEP)-2018, to realize the goal of first rate farm revenue. A legally mandated MSP regime is more likely to be neither possible nor sustainable in the long run whereas the missed large alternative is an export-led agricultural revolution to extend farmers’ revenue; India has to set a goal to export no less than 10 per cent share within the world market, which is presently at mere 2.2 per cent.
Farmers demand a regulation that may place an obligation on the federal government to make obligatory interventions to make sure authorized assured MSP. Without the authorized mandate, the federal government is below no obligation to obtain the 23 crops below MSP. There are two ways in which the federal government can present a authorized assure for MSP, each with extreme financial repercussions. First, the federal government can declare MSP because the baseline worth for the 23 crops out there. It’ll be a mandate for personal gamers to pay MSP charges. Second, the federal government itself should purchase these 23 crops at MSP however the authorities may pooh-pooh this demand by claiming that it could value Rs 17 lakh crore, about 50 per cent of the Union Budget. This is a mischievous determine! At current, Food Corporation of India procured paddy and wheat price Rs 2.53 lakh crore for PDS (Public Distribution System) from 6 per cent farmers. Ninety 4 per cent farmers within the nation are disadvantaged of the advantages of the MSP, might it’s expanded past present ranges?
Need a Stable Agriculture Export Policy
The procurement of 23 crops on assured MSP is more likely to be non-feasible for the federal government as grain shares with the federal government are already overflowing and are greater than double the buffer requirement, and generally find yourself rotting. Skewed MSP-dominated system of rice and wheat results in overproduction of those crops. Further, it discourages farmers to develop different crops and horticulture merchandise, which has increased demand and subsequently might result in an improve in farmers revenue. It appears logical that as an alternative of bypassing the market by utilizing MSPs, the federal government ought to make severe efforts to allow farmers for the worldwide market. The manner ahead is to ramp up exports within the agriculture sector.
Despite being the second-largest producer of vegatables and fruits, a food-surplus economic system with mounting meals shares didn’t export the surpluses and improve farmers’ revenue. As a consequence, farmers’ misery is seen throughout India. Government has to work arduous on this missed alternative to extend export-led agricultural development.
To a terrific extent, the answer to the financial misery of Indian farmers is thru a steady and predictable Agriculture Export Policy which goals at reinvigorating all the worth chain from export-oriented farm manufacturing and processing to transportation, infrastructure and world market entry. India must have a farmer-oriented technique to realize the dual goals of meals safety and to change into a outstanding agriculture exporter of the world, which is able to ship incomes into the pockets of farmers via essential export alternatives.
India’s agri and allied exports are decrease than nations like Thailand and Indonesia with a lot smaller agricultural land. India’s export basket is a diversified combine led by rice (USD 9.42 billion), marine merchandise (USD 5.96 billion), spices (USD 4 billion) and meat (USD 4 billion), which collectively represent 57 per cent of its whole agri exports, valued at USD 41 billion in 2020-21.
Since the Green Revolution within the Nineteen Sixties till now, agricultural coverage targeted on meals safety and worth stabilisation and uncared for export-led development. India’s foodgrain manufacturing touched a document 305.43 million tonnes within the 2020-21 crop yr. The authorities is spending large cash on procuring and sustaining meals shares over the strategic necessities, with warehouses overflowing. If the main target is shifted in direction of growing export potential, India might meet up with Brazil (7.8 per cent share of world exports) and China (5.4 per cent); the European Union (16.1 per cent share) and the US (13.8 per cent) are dominating agricultural exports.
According to the World Trade Statistical Review 2020, India’s share in world agricultural and allied merchandise exports elevated from 1.1 per cent in 2000-01 to 2.2 per cent in 2020-21. The Agriculture Export Policy goals at reaching an export goal of USD 60 billion by 2022 and USD 100 billion by 2027. To meet the targets on the constructive facet, there’s a important structural shift in favour of a lot of the creating nations, growing their share of agricultural exports by displacing developed nations as a result of their low-cost labour. For the primary time in 2019, India figured among the many high 10 exporting nations by displacing New Zealand.
However, what’s worrisome is the absence of a steady commerce coverage regime in India. To management costs within the home market, the federal government has, at completely different instances, resorted to banning exports of main agri-commodities, viz. rice, wheat, sugar and onion. Imposition of minimal export worth (MEP) is one other software typically used to tame inflation. These measures create uncertainty amongst importing nations and deprive farmers of upper returns from their produce.
India has confronted issues coping with the EU, Japan, the US and so on. Stringent norms imposed on pesticide-residue chemical compounds hindered exports of basmati rice to those nations. Punjab, which accounts for greater than 90 per cent of basmati exports, banned the sale of pesticide-containing chemical compounds like Tricyclazole and Buprofezin. To change into an export chief in rice, India has to develop tailored varieties like purple rice appreciated by the US and another varieties required by EU and Japan additionally.
What is the Way Forward
* The share of India’s potential will be realized via a steady export promotion coverage. It’s additionally crucial for India to enter free commerce agreements (FTAs) with the EU, the US and the UK.
* Majority of India’s agri-exports like rice, meat and spices are low worth uncooked or semi-processed merchandise. An important aspect of “Make in India” must be “Bake in India”, i.e. a renewed deal with processed agricultural merchandise.
* High-value natural merchandise, horticulture, dairy, poultry and fisheries export potential is but to be realized. Central and state governments want to think about the event of Dairy Export Zones (DEZs) and Organic Product Export Zones (OPEZs) for growing exports in a WTO-compatible method.
* Linking and skilling of farmers produce organizations (FPOs) with export-oriented meals parks for producing processed cereals, fruits, greens, fish and marine merchandise.
* Agricultural exports must be correctly supported by processing infrastructure, institutional back-up, standardization, packaging, storage, logistics, and connectivity to ports and airports.
* Higher investments in R&D and know-how, viz. the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and blockchain, for enhancing new forms of crops and their productiveness and export competitiveness.
The writer is Vice Chairman, Punjab State Planning Board and Chairman, ASSOCHAM, Northern Region Council. The views expressed on this article are these of the writer and don’t signify the stand of this publication.
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