Agriculture provides employment to more than 54 per cent people in India, but the average income for a famer remains low at little over Rs 8,000 a month. The past couple of years have seen protests by farmers, demanding legal provisions to guarantee minimum support price for their crops to protect financial stability. Now the Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, Bibek Debroy has said that conventional practice of agriculture isn’t viable if its share in the GDP as well as job cultivation is taken into consideration.
Agricultural sector’s contribution declining
Debroy tried to make a case for more off-farm employment in India, adding that farms need to move towards commercialisation and diversity. He argued that while more than half of the people employed in India are working at farms, the contribution of agriculture to the GDP is dropping by 1 per cent every year.
Need true MSP
Debroy also questioned minimum support price for farmers in its current form, sayin that there is a need to debate if India has true MSP. His argument is that its not supposed to be a procurement price, but instead the minimum that a farmer is paid, and also called for preventing unwanted state intervention in the sector.
Calling for more freedom of farmers, Debroy also said that India still doesn’t have a satisfactory insurance mechanism.