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Dr Swaminathan made the suggestions in a presentation in a seminar on ‘Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022’.
The formula for fixing the price, largely through the minimum support price (MSP) mechanism, which is 50 per cent more than the comprehensive cost of cultivation as determined the Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP), was first suggested by the National Commission for Farmers constituted under the previous UPA government in 2007.
The MSP for rabi crops to be grown in 2017-19 announced last month was less than 40 per cent of their average comprehensive cost as determined by the CACP. The eminent agriculturist also advocated creating special agriculture zones to conserve prime farm land and realising the untapped potential of rain-fed areas.
Dr Swaminathan also recommended promoting organic farming zones and introducing a systems approach with concurrent attention to all links in the conservation, cultivation, consumption and commerce chain, with an emphasis on assured and remunerative marketing.
Dr Swaminathan stressed to create a good weather code to fight the ill-effects of climate change, special programmes to empower female farmers and proper utilization of biomass.
The Centre has embarked on an ambitious target to double farmers’ income by 2022. A draft strategy paper released by the ministry of agriculture a few months back targeted to raise the average income of a farmer household in India to Rs 2,19,724 by 2022-23, from the 2015-16 base year of Rs 96,703, with the help of an additional public and private investment of Rs 6.4 lakh crore.
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