BHUBANESWAR: The State government’s claim of doubling farmers’ income has fallen flat with the latest sample survey report of the Centre on agricultural households bringing forth some disturbing statistics. The Situation Assessment of Agricultural Households report released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has revealed that the average monthly income of farmers of Odisha during June 2018 and June 2019 has come down to Rs 5,112 from a range of Rs 7,731 in 2015-16. In effect, the average monthly income of farmers has been reduced by Rs 2,619 in the last five years notwithstanding the financial assistance extended to small and marginal farmers under the State-sponsored KALIA scheme and PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi of the Centre in the last two fiscals.
Income generated by a farmer is a meagre Rs 170 per day for the sustenance of the entire household. Income wise, Odisha is just above Jharkhand which is at the bottom of the list with average income of Rs 4,895. The average monthly earning included income from wages (Rs 2,649), from leasing out of land (Rs 29), receipt from crop production (Rs 1,569), from farming of animals (Rs 416) and non-farm business (Rs 449).After deduction of the paid and imputed expenses, the average net receipt from farm production will come down to Rs 934 and there is a negative earning of Rs 49 in animal farming. In that case, the total average monthly income is estimated at Rs 4,013.
Claiming that Odisha is the only State in the country to have successfully doubled the farmers’ income within a decade from 2003 to 2013, the State government had informed the Assembly last year that farmers income was growing more than double the rate of agricultural growth.“The sustained growth in agriculture is possible because of the robust agricultural policy adopted by the government from time to time,” Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari had told the Assembly.
In 2002-03, the average monthly income of farmer was Rs 1,062 which increased to Rs 7,731 in 2015-16 and again declined to Rs 5,112 as per the 77th round National Sample Survey (NSS) in 2019. While the average farmers’ income in Bihar was recorded the lowest at just Rs 3,558 per month per agricultural household in 2012-13, the income has peaked up to Rs 9,677 as per the latest report. Frequent crop failure due to vagaries of monsoon, absence of assured water resources, attack of pests and diseases are the most important causes of farmers’ distress.