Integration of schemes will increase farmers' income: Meghwal
Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal on Tuesday said integration of various banking and insurance schemes, including the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, will increase farmers' income.
"Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is a revolutionary scheme... (but) all states have not implemented it yet. National Food Security Mission and Atal Pension Yojana are great schemes... (and) all schemes when integrated will increase farmers' income," Meghwal said.
He was addressing a seminar on 'Doubling Farmers' Income by 2022' organized by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) on its 35th foundation day.
There are a number of schemes at national level like the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture, National Agriculture Market e-platform and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana which, when integrated, will naturally increase farmers' income, he said.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the government's mission of doubling farmers' income by the year 2022 to ensure that the root cause of farmers' distress is addressed once and for all," Meghwal said.
He said that all agencies must work together to implement Prime Minister's seven strategies - focus on irrigation with per drop-more crop; quality seed and soil health; investments in warehousing and cold chains; value addition through food processing; creation of a national farm market; new crop insurance scheme to mitigate risks at affordable cost; and promotion of ancillary activities like dairy, poultry, beekeeping and fisheries.
Meghwal urged the experts to deliberate on ways to diversify the income sources of farmers so that the income is doubled. He also stressed on skilling farmers to equip them to move to non-farm activities.
Nabard Chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala said with small and marginal holdings constituting 85 per cent of total holdings in the country, the task of doubling real income of farmers by 2022, though a challenge, is not insurmountable.