Crop insurance scheme aims to transfer the entire premium of almost 90 % from Government side. Given the frequent droughts in last two years the allocation of resource becomes a challenge. However the government aims to do this with the help of state. Issues related to awareness of farmers about the prevalence of such schemes need to be addressed.
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchana Yojana is one ambitious programme of government that aims to achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at the field level. This also involves interlinking of rivers in the longer run. As river is a state issue this needs cooperation between centre and state for effective implementation of the scheme.
The Department of Agriculture & Cooperation has approved the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) as a Central Sector Scheme, with a corpus of Rs.500 crores, to support market interventions for price control of perishable agri-horticultural commodities. But there are crops other than horticulture which are suffering damage due to droughts and other adverse conditions. There is a need to create a mechanism to address this issue.
Crop diversification is one such issue which is in a poor shape despite various scientific interventions, effective measures are needed to address crop diversification issue. Government needs to come up policy frame work for effective price mechanism for crops other than wheat and rice, so that farmers are encouraged to grow crops other than rice and wheat.
Pulses have been one such sector which needs attention, given the fact of high prices of the same in recent times. Their needs to have an effective procurement policy for pulses and proper research for hybrid variety of pulses that are more resistatant to natural calamities like droughts.
Fertilizer is one such sector that needs to be rationalised, government has started giving health cards for farmers to determine the suitable fertilizer required for their soils. This has been a welcome move and efforts should be taken to create awareness about such initiatives by government.
There has been a debate about the upcoming national agricultural market for agriculture that is considered to be better than APMC acts in terms of creating transparent platforms for selling of crops through e portals. This is something which needs to be taken care with prudence.
Finally there is absence of a consistent policy from centre to states regarding the issue of procurement of Vegetables, fruits, Pulses, and absence of MSP for crops other than food grains, and in Agricultural research. This needs to be given importance in the upcoming budget.