NEW DELHI: The government is making efforts with an integrated approach and has initiated "multiple reforms" in order to achieve the target of doubling farmers' income by 2022, Additional Principal Secretary to the prime minister, P K Mishra has said.
He also emphasised the need to analyse as to "why the past initiatives could not accomplish the desired results" in the agriculture sector.
"The present government has for the first time ushered in a paradigm shift in the approach, from growth of production to increase in farmers' income," Mishra said while addressing the 78th Annual conference of the Indian Society of Agricultural Economics Thursday.
Some of the initiatives taken to address price and yield risks in the last four years include setting up of electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM), upgradation of rural haats, new scheme Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay Sanrakshan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA), Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
This is a major shift in the approach -- a clear focus on farmer and farmer welfare rather than simply production and productivity, he said.
"For this purpose, a holistic strategy for the agriculture sector was visualised. Efforts are being made to follow this with an integrated approach by initiating multiple reforms and programmes with an overall objective of doubling farmers income," Mishra said.
In February 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said farmers' income would be doubled by 2022 to mark 75 years of India's independence.
He further noted that, there is a need to analyse as to why the past initiatives could not accomplish the desired results and highlighted the need for agricultural research.
"Policymakers and practitioners need to look at how one could address the farmers' risk -- that affects his income and welfare and linking activities of non-agriculture sector. This is also an area of agriculture research," he said.
The senior PMO official said that Indian Society of Agricultural Economics (ISAE) should focus its research on topics like why does farmers distress happen in areas where there is high agricultural growth and how to modernise agriculture.
"Agricultural growth has a strong correlation with poverty reduction. In order to alleviate rural poverty, we need to focus on agricultural productivity and farmers' income."
The academic research should also be done on why crop yields are languishing and why there is yield gap between experimental farm and farmers' fields as also on topics like why youth is not interested in agriculture and why new knowledge is not reaching all farmers and they continue to follow conventional methods.
These are some of the areas which may be considered for empirical research by members of ISAE in the coming months and years, he added.
ISAE, was set up in 1939, anchors and channelises efforts of professionals and researches in the field of agricultural economics.