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THINKING BEYOND FARM SOPS

[sops (noun, plural): A thing, given or done as a concession to appease someone, whose main concerns or demands are not being met]

  • Agriculture is a crucial segment for inclusive development and provides stimulus to the economy, especially when it is not doing too well.
  • Since the country has several targets and commitments to be achieved in the next decade, it is imperative to lay a strong foundation by launching measures that can stem falling farm growth.
  • Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), which are currently facing operational and structural issues governed by different Acts and funded by various sources, may be strengthened by bringing them under one institution
  • Thus small-scale investment measures or an incentive-based system is essential to scale up sustainable practices such as agroforestry, climate-smart agriculture, ecosystem services, conservation agriculture and others
  • Government must establish a farm data agency, which can consolidate, collate and maintain farm data available at various platforms. Ongoing efforts of digitisation of land records must also include farmer-centric advisories.

Ease of farming index is necessary to ascertain the progress made by national and State governments on the key indicators of farming

Welfare measures

  • Creation of national agricultural development council on the lines of the Goods and Services Tax Council under the chairmanship of Prime Minister for effective coordination and convergence of States on key reforms and policies
  • farmers’ welfare commissions (both at the Centre and State level), as an independent institutional mechanism which will act as a neutral platform for assessing all agriculture-related issues and schemes.
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December 2022
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