Experts say that input costs of farmers are increasing, while living is becoming expensive. (File photo)
Amid the agitation against agricultural laws, the central government is repeatedly claiming that its goal is to double the income of farmers. While the reality is that the latest data of farmers’ income with the government is also eight years old. According to this figure for the year 2013, the average monthly income of a farmer family is Rs 6,426.
In a written reply to a question in the budget session, Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the Parliament that the latest and the last estimate came from the National Statistics Office’s study between July 2012 and June 2013. According to these figures, the average annual income of the farmer family was Rs 77,112 i.e. Rs 6,426 monthly. At the same time, the average monthly expenditure of a farmer family is Rs 6,223. In such a month, 203 rupees are saved.
According to the report, eight years ago 52% of farmer families had an average loan of Rs 47,000. According to NABARD’s survey conducted between 2016-17, farmers’ income had increased by Rs 2,505 in four years. If we add inflation, this increase will also go negative. Experts say that the input cost of farmers is increasing while living is becoming expensive. In such a situation, doubling the income is meaningless because the cost of living increases in a greater proportion then the quality of life will not increase despite four times the income.
Condition worsened due to rising input costs
According to the report, eight years ago 52 percent of the peasant families had an average loan of Rs 47,000. According to NABARD’s survey conducted between 2016-17, the income of farmers increased by Rs 2,505 in four years. If we add inflation, this increase will also go negative. Experts say that input costs of farmers are increasing, while living is becoming expensive. In such a situation, doubling income is meaningless, because if the cost of living increases in a greater proportion then the quality of life will not increase despite four times the income.
No separate census or survey of landless farmers
The Agriculture Minister had told the Lok Sabha on February 9 that landless farmers in the country are not separately counted or surveyed. Therefore their information is not with the government. It is estimated that 70% of the farmers in the country are landless and agricultural laborers.
Per capita income in the country increased more than double in eight years
The average monthly income per person in the country in 2012–13 was Rs 5,729. The family unit had 5.1 members. In this case, the average income of a normal family was around 29 thousand rupees. Whereas then the per capita monthly income of the peasant family was only Rs 1,260. At the same time, the annual per capita income in the country was Rs 1,34,226 in 2019–20, which is Rs 11,185 per month.
If income is to be doubled, then correct assessment is necessary for it: Singh
According to political and social analyst NK Singh, the government had to assess the current income with the announcement of doubling the income of farmers. Estimated data on an eight-year-old report cannot lead to accurate conclusions. According to the 2017 report of the Dalwai Committee made in this regard, to double income, an investment of 6.399 lakh crores will have to be made and agricultural exports will have to increase three times.