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Conference 2017

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Agricultural Economics Research Association (India)

25th Annual Conference

Doubling Farmers’ Income: Options and Strategies

Organiser: ICAR-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management

November 7-9, 2017


Venue of Conference:

ICAR-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management
Hyderabad-500030, Telangana

Specific Themes of the Conference:

Unequivocally, agricultural growth is not keeping pace with the growth in other economic sectors. It is lagging far behind than that of the manufacturing and service sectors. The share of agriculture in GDP has fallen steeply over years but overall dependence on agricultural sector for livelihood remains quite high. About 40% of farm households have a desire to exit agriculture but they remain in it because of limited opportunities outside it. It is disheartening that farmers are not getting due credit for their contribution towards making the country self-sufficient in food production in spite of the fact that farmers’ incomes are very low.

It is with this backdrop, the Government of India has set a policy target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. The paradigm shift from production to income has implications in evolving strategies, identifying options and exploring innovative institutional mechanisms. It requires a new strategy at the national level and implementation plans at ground level. Several options may be available for increasing farmers’ incomes. Some included: (1) increase crop area through intensification, (2) bridge yield gaps and raise yields, (3) reduce cost of cultivation and improve production efficiency, (4) promote agricultural diversification towards more remunerative commodities, such as horticulture, livestock and fish, (5) increase prices of food commodities, (6) promote primary and secondary value addition, packaging and branding, (7) consolidate farmers through institutional innovation to take advantage of economies of scale and sharing risk, (8) reducing the transaction cost by improving the supply chain, and (9) create job opportunities outside agriculture sector. The task is not easy to execute any option. It requires complete revamping and re-orientation of agri-food system, and strengthening of infrastructure and institutions in terms of new production systems, and farmers’ access to remunerative markets, credit, inputs, information and technologies. There are number of instances within India which demonstrate that farmers with limited land are attaining significantly higher incomes than those with similar land endowment. However, such instances are few and scattered. There is a need to document such successful examples to draw lessons for wider replication. We can also learn lessons from south and Southeast Asian countries where landholdings are small and policy focus is more on farmers’ income security than production.

The paper writers may discuss one or more of the following issues.

  1. How far farmers’ income is below the average per capita income of the country? What constitutes farmers’ income and what are its determinants?
  2. What are the impacts of ongoing programmes like National Food Security Mission, RKVY, micro-irrigation, soil health card, crop insurance, organic farming etc. that aim at
    income augmenting and how far have they been effective? What are the factors behind
    not realising the anticipated income improvements under these programmes?
  3. Diversification towards horticulture and animal production is considered a pathway for
    enhancing farmers’ incomes. Paper writers may explore patterns, impacts and
    determinants of diversification.
  4. Cost reduction is one of the options for enhancing incomes. How the natural resource
    endowment influences the cost of production and how to reduce costs of production can
    be the focus of the papers?
  5. Use of technology can be a game changer in enhancing productivity or reducing costs.
    How far available technologies can be adopted further and how bridging yield gaps can
    enhance farmers’ incomes? Can biotechnology offer scope in this regard?
  6. Inputs including labour, mechanisation play an important role in enhancing incomes and
    reducing costs, by operating in the appropriate zone of the production function and on the
    right point on production possibility frontier. Credit facilitates working capital fund and
    investments. These aspects need detailed analysis by the authors.
  7. Rainfed areas are home for majority of our people and in spite of serious efforts the
    adoption of dry land technologies did not reach the desired levels. What are the issues
    behind developing and transferring technologies in dry land areas? What deters their
    adoption? What is the impact of such technologies on incomes?
  8. Evidences on how institutional innovations, such as farmer producer organization,
    contract farming, cooperatives, self-help groups help farmers in reducing their transaction
    costs and raising their incomes?
  9. Markets are the binding constraints for realising better prices and hence, higher incomes.
    e-NAM offers hope but full implementation may elusive in the short run. Papers can
    discuss innovative market interventions in different states in enhancing price realisation.
  10. Dependence of majority labour force on agriculture continues even as the share of
    agriculture declines to 15 per cent. In this context, papers should bring out evidence on
    what type of rural non-farm sector activities succeeded and what are the future activities
    that would be in demand.
  11. What could be the role of agribusiness and agri-entrepreneurship in enhancing farmers’
    incomes? How value-addition, agri-processing and post-harvest technologies will
    contribute to the farmers’ incomes?
  12. Infrastructure and human capital are crucial for enhancing productive capacity for farm or
    non-farm activities. Often, one or the other item of infrastructure becomes binding.

Empirical studies on impact of infrastructure on income need to be explored. The above outline is indicative and the papers should be empirical rather than being mere descriptive. The focus should be to arrive at possible solutions for enhancing incomes significantly.

For details please see Call for Papers

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