Farm income fell in four States despite aim to double income: parliamentary panel

While National farm income rose 27% between 2015-16 and 2018-19, Jharkhand saw a drop in monthly income by 30%

Updated - March 24, 2022 09:01 pm IST

Published - March 24, 2022 09:00 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Photo used for representation purpose only. File

Photo used for representation purpose only. File | Photo Credit: C. Venkatachalapathy

The Centre vowed to double farmers’ income between 2015 and 2022, but by the midway point, farm families in Jharkhand actually saw their average monthly income drop by about 30%. 

In its report on the demand for grants for agriculture submitted to the Lok Sabha on Thursday, a parliamentary standing committee asked why the Centre remained a “mute spectator” while farmers’ income declined in four States between 2015-16 and 2018-19. Over the same period, nationwide farm income rose 27%, which is still well short of the trajectory needed to achieve the goal of doubling income this year.

The Committee recommended that the Department of Agriculture and Family Welfare “should formulate a Special Team to figure out the reasons for falling farmers’ income in those States and take some course corrective measures so that the doubling of farmers income is not lost sight of.”

The Doubling Farmers’ Income (DFI) committee had calculated the 2015-16 baseline by extrapolating the National Statistical Organisation’s (NSO) survey data from 2012-13, calculating that the national average monthly income of a farm family in that year was ₹8,059. By the time the next NSO survey was conducted in 2018-19, monthly income had risen 27% to ₹10,218.

In Jharkhand, however, a farm family’s average income fell from ₹7,068 to ₹4,895 over the same period. In Madhya Pradesh, it fell from ₹9,740 to ₹8,339, in Nagaland, from ₹11,428 to ₹9,877, and for Odisha, it dipped marginally from ₹5,274 to ₹5,112.

When asked what steps the Department had taken to increase farmers income in these States, the Department responded that “input in this regard will need to be sought from the concerned State governments, a reply that the parliamentary panel termed as “lackadaisical”.

The panel also noted that while the Department’s budgetary allocation may have risen in absolute terms, it has consistently declined in percentage terms during the second term of the Narendra Modi-led government. In the 2019-20 Budget, announced just before Lok Sabha polls, the department received 4.7% of total allocations. That proportion has dropped every year since, and in 2022-23, the department’s budget accounted for only 3.1% of the total. 

“Keeping in mind the vital role played by agriculture in overall economy of the country, the Committee recommend the Department to take up the issue of decline in percentage budgetary allocation in favour of the Department out of Central Pool with the Ministry of Finance and ensure that this declining trend is reversed or at least gets discontinued from the next Budget onwards,” said the panel.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.