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Need to balance subsidies: Niti Aayog | Published: 19th July 2017 | Posted Date: Wednesday 19th July 2017 06:20 PM

Ramesh Chand, a member of Niti Aayog, says that there is a need to balance subsidies and development measures in the agriculture sector.

Hyderabad: Ramesh Chand, a member of Niti Aayog, says that there is a need to balance subsidies and development measures in the agriculture sector. He says that the income earned through agricultu-re has not been able to ke-ep pace with the increase in needs and aspirations of farmers since 1991. He says that the three main reasons for this are, the stagnation of sectoral growth, the lack of impro-vement in price realisation, and an insufficient increase in income throu-gh non-farm sources.

He says that the lack of reforms in the agricultural sector has failed to allow the sector to develop. Mr Chand says that 62 per cent of the rural economy is non-agricultural, while only 38 per cent is agricultural. He says that the manufacturing sector is adopting a more capital intensive production program in rural areas as compared to urban areas.

In the concluding remarks of Niti Aayog’s report on agriculture, Mr Chand says that a very low percentage of the rural youth have received vocational training. Most labourers who move out of agriculture are absorbed in the low-paying construction sector, and this is the reason for persistent income inequality between rural and urban non-farm workers. He says that there is a need to improve employability and change the labour laws governing labour-intensive manufacturing. He says that there is also a need to promote participation from the private sector in the processing and value chain.

NITI Aayog estimates:

*Average income earned by each cultivator through farm sources: Rs 9,761 per month

*Minimum land holding required to keep a farmer’s family above the poverty line: 1.55 acres

*Land holdings below the poverty threshold:  53 percent

*Average income earned by a cultivator through non-farm sources: Rs 6,507 per month

*Average income earned by a cultivator through farm and non-farm sources:  Rs 16,628 per month

*Farmers below the poverty line: 22.5 percent

Tomato prices per quintal (In Rs)

State, June 2016, May 2017, June 2017

Gujarat, 3133, 974, 1662

Rajasthan, 1767, 375, 699

Madhya Pradesh, 1651, 598, 922

Chhattisgarh, 3223, 831, 1771

West Bengal, 3527, 1235, 2606

Odisha, 3248, 1774, 2195

Andhra Pradesh, 3015, 551, 1745

Kerala, 4723, 1518, 2554




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