NEW DELHI: Incomes of farmers have doubled for certain crops in some states from 2017-18 to 2021-22, a study conducted by SBI Research showed.
Incomes of soybean farmers in Maharashtra and cotton in Karnataka doubled during the period, while for all other cases it rose in the range of 1.3 -1.7 times, the study showed.
The average incomes of wheat farmers in Rajasthan grew 1.3 times during the period, whereas groundnut farmers in Gujarat grew 1.5 times.
The study was based on primary data of SBI’s agri portfolio across states containing granular data of various crops from agri-intensive branches and analyzed the change in income of farmers over the past five years.
“The increase in farmers engaged in cash crops is more prominent compared to the farmers growing noncash crops,” it said.
Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) are increasingly aligned with market-linked pricing and are being increased by 1.5-2.3 times since 2014.
The central government had set a target to double farmers’ income by 2022-23. In order to achieve the target, it has announced a plethora of measures like an increase in MSP, crop insurance, focus on kisan credit card and soil health cards, boosting e-NAM and food parks, and roping in financial institutions for increasing the coverage of institutional credit.
MSP has been pivotal in ensuring the passage of better prices to farmers and has led to optimal price discovery, setting ‘floor price benchmark’ for multiple crop varieties, besides encouraging farmers to gradually move over to crop varieties that have better yield or value, it added.
Self Help Groups (SHGs), were crucial in imbibing an entrepreneurial spirit among farmers at the lower band of the spectrum. In particular, women have a high concentration in selected states and within those states also they remain confined to certain districts. Even so, their performance in aspirational districts of NITI Aayog has been noticeable of late, explained the report.
“We believe that this programme has been a huge success in just a period of 4 years at least in respect of SHG financing. Of the total SHG financing in the country, 18% outstanding belongs to these 124 aspirational districts with share in excess of 30% in select districts”, the report said.
Further, it said despite much hype and political patronage, farm loan waivers by states have failed to bring respite, sabotaging credit discipline in select geographies and making banks and financial institutions wary of further lending.
“Since 2014, out of 3.7 crore eligible farmers, only 50 per cent of farmers received the amount of loan waiver (till Mar’22), though in some of the states more than 90 per cent of farmers received the debt waiver amount. Essentially, a ‘self goal’ inflicted by the State on its subjects!” it added.