top of page

1. Doubling Of Farmers’ Income

  • India is one of the largest producers and consumers of food products. This sector plays an important role in contributing to the development of rural economy. Domestically the spending on the food and food products amounts to nearly 21 percent of gross domestic product of the country. Agricultural Growth and Farmers’ Welfare. It contributes significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)1 of the nation’s overall economy,

  • Agriculture is the principal source of livelihood for almost 48% population of India. It caters to the food security of the nation besides generating exportable surpluses.It provides the bulk of wage goods required in non-agriculture sector and most of raw materials for industrial sector. It contributes significantly to the GDP though in terms of percentage, it has been declining.

  • India’s agriculture has been going a structural change with respect to its farm size, cropping pattern and share in national GVA.

  • It would benefit all concerned with policy formulation and implementation, to recognize that agriculture sector is the largest private enterprise in the country. So it is logical to enable the spirit of private enterprise of the farmers to excel itself.

  • So far, the focus of nation in agriculture has been on achieving higher production and realise the food security, which has been done with satisfaction. But it has also spawned number of issues that challenge sustainability and there is agrarian crisis visible today.

  • In this context, it is important today to adopt farm income centric approach in preference to production. The farmer has to be facilitated to operate his farm-enterprise on the basis of profitable returns.

  • Thus, promotion of agriculture as a true self enterprise will have to be defined by sustainability of resources and inclusiveness of people.


1.1. Indian agriculture based on the state

  • As per 2011 agricultural census, there are 26.3 crore agricultural workers (11.87 cultivators + 14.43 crore of agri labourers). This is 45.1 % and 54.9 % respectively of agricultural workers. In 1951, there were 71.9% cultivators and 28.1% labourers in 9.72 crore of total number of agricultural labourers.

  • In 1951, there were 80% people dependent on agriculture which is now 48%. However in terms of absolute figures, the dependency on agriculture sector for employment, income and livelihood has increased.

  • The percentage of farmers below poverty line in 2011-12 based on total household (farm and non-farm) income was 22.5%. The data has also brought out wide state variations. The percentage of farmer-population below poverty line in the same year was 0.5, 3.2 and 4.3 in the states of Punjab, kerala and Haryana. In contrast, the percentage below poverty line was as high as 45.3, 35.1, 33.0 and 32.1 in states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Assam and Odisha.


Income of Farmers

  • The purchasing power of the farmer depends upon his average monthly income.

  • Changes in average monthly income are higher in case of cultivators owning higher farm size compared to those with smaller with smaller farm sizes. This shows that farm sizes and monthly income of farmer is positively correlated.

  • Also, the size of holdings in the marginal and small size categories has reduced to an extent where farm viability gets challenged. The structure of holdings has changed substantively and 86% of total numbers of holdings are under marginal and small farmers’ categories. Thus, average size of operational holdings is as low as 1.15ha which doesn’t give operational viability for use of higher technologies.

  • As per 2013 Survey, the average monthly income of agricultural household at all India level was Rs. 6426 whereas average monthly consumption was Rs. 6223. This is reflective of vulnerability of farmer in terms of adequacy of income to meet family expenses and create savings that can be ploughed back as investments in farm.

  • Thus, it is important to register robust and consistent growth rates in the sector in order to keep at bay agrarian distress and raise the farmers’ income, so that they are able to realise higher standard of living and also generate savings to meet capital investment needs. As per annual reports of NCRB and MHA, among various other reasons pushing the farmer to suicide, indebtedness is an important one.

  • Agriculture sector which is defined by biological process is vulnerable to vagaries of climate which impact the sector adversely. Further, it is also exposed to market uncertainties since production cannot be maneuvered as easily in case of industrial production system. This affects the farmer at every stage of production, thereby influencing the income directly. Therefore it is important to provide support to farmers and enable them to negotiate such risks and uncertainties without compromising on their family expenditure needs, human dignity and life security.

  • In order to achieve total welfare of the farmer, it is necessary to adopt facilitative policy and also improve delivery through more efficient governance system.

  • An important aspect of governance encompasses effective review and monitoring mechanism at the field level, backed by appropriate ICT as a tool. It is in this context, ministry of agriculture, GOI has decided to set up integrated committees at the district and state levels to review and monitor all the activities related to farmers at fixed intervals and make necessary interventions for improvement.

  • The inter-ministerial committee working on the strategy for doubling farmers’ income is holding wide consultations with a cross-section of the society including farmers to recommend an appropriate strategy that will not only double the income of farmers but also put production system on a sustainable basis.

  • Credit as a Contributor to Doubling of Farmers’ Incomes Government initiatives

  • The proposed strategy to double farmers’ income by 2022 include

  • The goal attains importance in the context of India’s labour market and nature of agriculture which employs nearly half of total workforce and nearly two-thirds of rural workforce.


Credit support

  • The doubling of farm income requires fundamental transformation of the way agriculture is undertaken in India.!

  • The socio economic impact on Punjab since the introduction of green revolution has not been encouraging with soil degradation, greenhouse gases and rapidly falling water table. This has resulted in high indebtedness of farmers and high incidents of ailments like cancer and kidney failure.

  • Thus there is a need of holistic approach to transform and modernize present day agriculture. The new approach has to focus on

  • • Improving and expanding market access, yields, productivity, quality

  • • Reach of inputs

  • • Agricultural extension services

  • • Expanding commodity production in rural areas

  • • Redefining and reworking present supply of agricultural credit.

  • There is a need to encourage diversification of agricultural income where income from agricultural activities forms an important but only one component.

  • For example, adopting ways to enhance value of products through agro-processing on farm itself is one option. Tomato farmer can consider part in sale of raw tomatoes and part in ketchup, which can enhance income.

  • However, such diversification and changed emphasis will require large scale additional infusion of credit by the formal sector for working capital.

  • Further, if value addition and agro-processing has to be encouraged, it will require large investments in better post-harvest methods which should be also considered as an essential ingredient of production cycle.

  • Despite such need, there is scarce discussion amongst policy circles on the role that credit can play an important role in improving incomes.

  • The direction and nature of rural credit can play an important role in increasing farmers’ incomes, especially in the context of generational shift and changing profile of agriculturalists.

  • The pattern of land ownership and changing dynamics in rural India is now visible. There is out migration from villages to cities. Thus there is increased in tenant farmers in agriculture, particularly pronounced in the segment of holding more than 10 hectare of land.

  • The benefits from various government programmes including subsidies also flows to those land owners who may not be cultivating the land.

  • In contrast, tenants cultivating land are forced to borrow from informal markets, which directly impacts cost of agriculture. Thus in Indian agriculture, cost, access and availability of institutional credit is an important input on which profitability is dependent.


Way forward

  • Increasing access to subsidized credit for those agricultural households who actually cultivate land will increase their bargaining power vis-à-vis the rural informal credit and input providers who generally coerce producers to sell their agricultural produce to them. The recently licensed small and payment banks are expected to contribute to larger credit flow.

  • The emphasis on agro-processing and ancillary activities would require financial support and higher flow of credit to the rural sector.

  • Also, tailoring a scheme of associating mandi merchants with banks to enhance medium and long term credit in the rural sector ca be considered as a substitute of brick and mortar bank branches , mainly to compete out high cost money lender. In such case, mandi merchants will serve like ATMs and cost of inputs to farmer will be contained.


2. Quality Seeds and Planting Materials in Doubling Framers Income: Role and Way Forward

2.1. Quality seeds

  • Substantial increase in yield and quality of crops in turn add increased income to the farmers. To increase productivity, progress is required along the following dimensions:

  • (i) Quality and judicious use of inputs such as water, seeds, fertilizer and pesticides;

  • (ii) Judicious and safe exploitation of modern technology including genetically modified (GM) seeds; and

  • (iii) Shifting orientation of farming to the natural farming and organic farming toincreased quality and decreased cost of cultivation As per manusmriti, ‘good seed in good soil yields abundantly’. Rigveda, Arthsahstra, Surapala’s Vrikshayurveda mentioned importance of seed and seed treatments to ensure good germination. Although the importance of seed was recognized in ancient India, the need for organized seed production was identified only in beginning of 20th century when Royal Commission on Agriculture recommended spread of improved variety of seeds and speed distribution.


India’s seed programme recognizes three generations

  • 1. Breeder seeds- it is the original source of all classes of certified seed. It is held, maintained, and controlled by the originating plant breeder, sponsoring plant breeder or institution, in such a way to maintain its genetic purity and identity.

  • 2. Foundation seeds- A progeny of breeder seeds. It is produced by State Farm Corporation of India, National Seed Corporation, State seed Corporation under technical control of qualified plant breeders or technical officers. Its production is supervised and approved by certification agency.

  • 3. Certified seeds- The progeny of foundation seed produced by registered seed growers under supervision of seed certification agencies to maintain the seed quality as per minimum seed certification standards.

  • Many a times, farmers are getting seeds but the quality of seeds of new improved varieties is not available to the farmers on time and with affordable price and may lead to decreased production drift.

  • The Indian seed industry entails the participation of public sector (both Central and state governments like National Seeds Corporation (NSC) and state level organizations, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), State Agricultural Universities), co-operative sector and private sector institutions to provide pure seed to the farmers. Even though, the seed sector in India is protected with different legalities like Seeds Act (1966), Seed Rules (1968) and Seeds (Control) Order (1983), New Policy on Seed Development (1988) and National Seed Policy (2002), many malpractices and manoeuvring in quality and purity of the seeds used to be present due to different reasons


Ensuring availability of quality seeds and planting materials

1. Increased variety replacement

  • New varieties need to be tested and seeds of those varieties should be made available to the farmers for cultivation in the regions in which it is suitable.

  • Though new varieties of seeds are introduced, many old varieties of seeds find a place in notified section. Government should DE-notify such old varieties that have no demand or relevance in present context.


2. Enhanced seed replacement rate

  • For achieving desired level increase in income of the farmers, seed replacement rates should be adequate. It is a measure of how much of the total cropped area was sown with certified seeds in comparison to farm seeds.

  • There is a need to replace the existing seeds at the rate of 33% for self-pollinated crops, 50% for cross pollinated crops and 10% for hybrids.


3. Maintaining quality of seeds

  • Regulatory measures for quality seeds production have to be tightened to discourage sales of spurious seeds to farmers.

  • A large chunk of vegetables’ seed business is being handled by the unorganized seed sector, wherein seed traders directly purchase from growers and distribute with various trade names.

  • The seed companies should be made responsible for poor performance of seed supplied by them and penalty system for companies and compensation strategies from seed companies to the farmers need to be introduced, instead of all burden of crop failure being bore by the farmer.

  • At preset 124 seed testing laboratories are functioning and testing more than 6 lakhs seed samples.


4. Use of tissue culture production for planting material

  • Conventional planting material may carry pests and diseases present in the mother plant to next generation. Tissue culture plants are free from pests fungal and most bacterial pathogens.

  • Seed and planting material production is not a simple affair. It needs suitable climatic conditions fertile land and full time investment. The main advantage of tissue culture planting is the ability to produce a significant number of high quality and uniform planting material rapidly that can be multiplied year round under sterile conditions, anywhere irrespective of season and weather.


5. Use of GM and hybrid seeds

  • The Open Pollinated Varieties (OPVs) produced by farmers are usually genetically diverse and not very uniform in quality of produce. In comparison to this, hybrids are uniform and yield 10-25% more than OPVs and hence improve crop productivity.

  • Hybridisation can also be very useful in developing seed varieties that are drought resistant and pest tolerant, enabling adaptation to climate change or mitigating and other yield penalising risk.

  • Currently transgenic research is being done on several field crops- cotton, rice, corn, Indian mustard, potato etc. The apprehensions about health hazards and conflict with the Indian ideology have slowed down the acceptability of GM food crops amongst farmers. And hence they should be introduced only after solving the associated problems and concerns.

  • Many a time, seed may not be available to the farmers in time or not at affordable price. Seed village, wherein trained group of farmers are involved in production of seeds of various crops to upgrade the quality of farmer-saved seeds which is 80-85% of the total seed used for crop production.

  • Infrastructure needs to be created on this ground to keep the seeds for some time without losing the viability and quality. This will lead to availability of quality seeds in a cost effective way to the farmers.


3. National Agriculture Market new horizon for agri-business

  • Government has rolled out a large number of programmes to improve the yield levels on sustainable basis; it recognizes the need for creating a competitive market structure in the country that will generate marketing efficiency. Only when a market is integrated over time and space, can market efficiency be realized.

  • Integration of agriculture markets across the country through the e-platform is seen as an important measure for overcoming the challenges posed by the present agri-marketing system namely

  • Fragmentation of state into multiple market areas, each administered by separate APMCs,  Multiple levy of mandi fees,Requirement for multiple license for trading in different APMCs, Licensing barriers leading to conditions of monopoly,Poor quality of infrastructure and low use of technology, Information asymmetry,Confound process for price discovery High level of market charges,Movement controls etc.

  • The need to unify markets at both state and central level is clearly the requirement of time in order to provide better price to farmers, improve supply chain, reduce wastages and create a unified national market.


3.1. National Agriculture Market (NAM)

  • National Agriculture Market (NAM) is a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities. NAM Portal provides a single window service for all APMC related information and services.

  • While material flow (agricultural produce) continues to happen through mandis, an online market reduces transaction costs and information asymmetry.

  • At present, agricultural marketing is administered by states as per their agri-marketing regulations. Here, the state is divided into several market areas, each of which is administered by separate APMCs which impose their own marketing regulation, including fees.

  • This fragmentation of markets, even within the state hinders free flow of agricultural commodities and multiple levels of mandi-charges ends up escalating the prices for the consumers without commensurate benefit to the farmer, NAM addressed these challenges by creating a unified market though online trading platform, both at state and national level.


Objective of NAM

  • 1. A national e-market platform for transparent sale transactions and price discover initially in regulated markets. Willing states to accordingly enact suitable provisions in their APMC Act for promotion of e-trading by their state Agricultural marketing board/APMC

  • 2. Liberal licensing of traders/buyers and commission agents by state authorities without any pre-condition of physical presence or possession of shop/premises in market yard

  • 3. One license for a trader valid across all markets in the state.

  • 4. Harmonisation of quality standards of agri produce and provision for assaying infrastructure in every market to enable informed bidding buyers. Common tradable parameters have so far been developed for several commodities.

  • 5. Single point levy of market fees.

  • 6. Provision of soil testing laboratories in/near the selected mandi to facilitate visiting the farmers to access this facility in the mandi itself.         

  • 7. The scheme is applicable on all-India basis. There is no state wise allocation under the scheme. However, desired states would be required to meet the pre-requisites in terms of carrying out necessary agri-marketing reforms.


Benefits of NAM

  • Its Promoted uniformity, Streamlining of procedures across integrated markets, Removes information asymmetry between buyers and sellers, Promotes real time price discovery based on actual demand and supply. Promotes transparency in auction process.Access to a nationwide market for the farmer with prices compatible with quality of his produce and online payment and availability of better quality produce at more reasonable prices to the customers


Challenges of NAM

  • Although the system looks simple, it is not that simple for farmers. Most of the farmers have habit of selling their yield to a local produce aggregator than taking their crops to mandis.

  • Quality variations in commodities at state and national level pose a challenge. For eg. Wheat from Punjab and Haryana is of medium quality than wheat of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

  • E-platforms would be right platform only for trade standardized commodities and for the rest it may not be.

  • Even if some farmers take it to mandis, their yield will be very small to excite distant buyers bidding online. Thus, price discovery possibility is quite limited. Thus, the farmers can take help of cooperatives or farmer produce organizations in aggregating commodities.

  • NAM will remove inter-state barriers in moving farm produce and can be a game changer provided the pre-requisites are fulfilled by states:

  • 1. Amendment of state APMC Acts

  • 2. Physical logistic support to farmers which would enable them to move their crops.

  • E-NAM has the potential to transform Indian agriculture from traditional to entrepreneurial and profit making venture. It will be possible when supplementary additions in infrastructure, easy credit disbursal and vigilant inspection and implementation.



  • SAMPADA is an umbrella scheme incorporating ongoing schemes of the Ministry like Mega Food Parks,Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure, etc. and also new schemes like Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters, Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages, Creation / Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities. The objective of

  • SAMPADA is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease agri-waste. It also aims to develop modern infrastructure to encourage entrepreneurs to set up food processing units based on cluster approach, provide effective and seamless backward and forward integration for processed food industry by plugging gaps in supply chain and creation of processing and preservation capacities and modernization/ expansion of existing food processing units.


4. Prime Minister’s 7 Point Action Plan:

4.1.Doubling Farmers’ Income

  • Enhanced focus on irrigation with large scale investments, with the aim of ‘per drop, more crop’.

  • Availability of Quality Seeds and Nutrients.

  • Large scale investments in Warehousing, cold chains and storage facilities.

  • Value- addition through food processing.

  • Risk Management through introduction of crop insurance schemes.

  • Setting up a national farm market and;

  • Promoting ancillary activities like poultry, fisheries etc.

  • Initiatives for Farmers’ Welfare:


Revamped Crop Insurance Scheme

  • The crop insurance schemes have been in operations in the country close to last two decades. Because of reports of crop losses due to erratic climate incidents and insufficient rainfall, the farmers have been facing an uncertain future. So far, the coverage of crop insurance was inadequate. Prior to launch of PM Fasal Bima Yojana, only 20 million of an estimated 140 million farmers had crop insurance in 2014-15. The facility was against cost of cultivation and barely provided any income protection. According to ministry of agriculture data, most of the farmers who took crop insurance were in Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

  • The pre-existing scheme- modified national agricultural insurance scheme and weather-based crop insurance scheme- covered just 5.5% of farmers.

  • Under the new scheme implemented from kharif season of 2016, the premiums paid by farmers are as follows

  • 1. 2%- rain dependent kharif crop

  • 2. 1.5%- rabi crops

  • 3. 5%- horticultural crops.

  • NAIS and MNAIS have been discontinued from kharif 2016 but WCIS and coconut palm insurance scheme continue to operate with premium at par with PMFBY.

  • The new crop insurance scheme would provide solutions to farmers problems in times of difficulty. Under PMFBY, there is no upper limit on government subsidy provided by centre or state government.

  • In earlier schemes, there was provision to cap the premium rate which resulted in low claims being paid to farmers.

  • Another benefit is that the losses incurred by them at any stage of farming activity- sowing to post harvest season-would be covered.

  • Earlier only post-harvest losses could be offset by insurance facility under the two existing schemes.

  • Also even those farmers who hadn’t taken bank loans would be eligible to cover under PMFBY

  • Several new features have been introduced in the scheme such as application of nominal premium rate for a season across country. Provision of features such as localised calamities, prevented sowing, post-harvest losses and going to village or panchayat level to assess crop losses or damages.

  • The biggest thrust of PMFBY has been use if technology which would encourage to great extent.

  • Smart phones are being used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers.

  • Remote sensing will be used to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.

  • In the follow up

  • There has been uneven progress in adoption of innovative technologies such as carrying out crop cutting experimentation though APP and usage of smartphone for capturing and transmitting data. The technologies like digitisation of notification, premium calculator, web based forms, e-payment gateways etc. have to be used widely.

  • Also, banks and insurance companies must ensure that there is compulsory coverage of all eligible loanees and electronic transmission of premium on time. If there is a crop loss to loanee farmer who is not insured, the bank will have to make good the losses.

  • The government is trying to bring non-loanee farmers such as share croppers too within PMFBY fold.


4.2. Agricultural Growth

Record production

  • Record production of Food grains , Rice Estimated at 108.86 MT , Wheat Estimated at 96.64 MT , Coarse Cereals Estimated at 44.34 MT , Pulses Estimated at 22.14 MT , Oil seeds Estimated at 33.60 MT

  • To provide insurance at lowest premium rate to farmers with added benefits.Highest financial support till date by the Central Government in crop insurance.Plan to increase crop insurance coverage from 20


Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana:

  • per cent to 50 per cent by 2018-19.During Kharif 2016, 3.90 crore farmers insured over the sum insured of Rs.1,41,883.30  crores. During Rabi 2016-17, 1.67 crore farmers insured over the sum insured of Rs. 71,728.59 crores.


Relief to Farmers In Distress:

  • If 33 per cent or more crop damaged, a farmer would get relief. Earlier relief was given only when crop damage was 50 per cent or more.Amount of relief under various heads increased by 1.5 times. For food grains damaged due to excessive rainfall, full minimum support price to be paid.Families of the deceased persons to be given an assistance of Rs.4 lakhs, up from Rs.2.5 lakhs.


Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY):

  • Water to Every Field / Har Khet Ko Paani . Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana is targeting speedy completion of irrigation projects which are pending for long-time. to achieve ‘Water to Every Field / Har Khet Ko Paani’.Budget of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna increased to Rs.7377 crore.Long Term Irrigation Fund Augmented by 100 per cent to Rs 40,000 Crore (Budget 2017-18).Dedicated Micro Irrigation fund with a sum of Rs. 5000 crores to be set up for the achievement of the goal of More crop per drop. Under ‘Per Drop More Crop’ for micro irrigation 15.86 lakh hectares brought under micro irrigation


Soil health Cards:

  • Soil Health Cards carry crop wise recommendations of nutrients and fertilizers required for individual farms to help farmers to improve productivity through judicious use of inputs. Scheme launched to reduce fertilizers usage and expenses. Soil Health Cards to be issued to all farmers by 2018


National Agriculture Market (e-Nam):

  • This is an initiative where all agricultural mandis are linked electronically.Farmers will be able to get better price of their crop through e-Nam.l 415 Mandis across 13 states are live on e-NAM.More than 39.75 lakh farmers and 88,474 traders are registered on this platform


Neem Coated Urea - Now no queues for Urea

  • Government makes Neem coating of Urea mandatory.100 per cent of Neem Coating of Indigenous and Imported Urea achieved.New Urea Policy 2015-Assured availability of Urea.Diversion of highly subsidized urea towards non-agricultural purposes reduced t0 negligible.l 5 to 17 per cent increase in crop yield seen in various crops.

  • Earlier, subsidised urea used to be diverted to non-agricultural use. This diversion also created shortage of urea. The launch of Neem Coated Urea has made non-agricultural use impossible and hence, urea is available to farmers in adequate quantity.


Abolition of Levy System:

  • In a major pro-farmer move, the government has abolished procurement of paddy under the levy system thereby enabling the farmers to sell their paddy directly to the centres opened by the Government agencies at a more beneficial price.


Direct Subsidy to Sugarcane Farmers:

  • Direct subsidy to sugarcane farmers Amount released directly to farmers’ Account.  Payment of Sugarcane Arrears.For years, sugarcane farmers in north India have been suffering under sugarcane arrears.So, the Government extended financial assistance


Stabilization of prices of Pulses:

  • For the first time, a buffer stock of up to 20 lakh MT of pulses is being created to manage price volatility of pulses. Big hike in the minimum support price (MSP) of kharif pulses for 2016-17 viz.

  • Substantial increase in MSP of Rabi Pulses, price of gram increased from Rs. 3500 to Rs. 4000 per quintal and the price of lentil (Masoor) increased from Rs. 3400 to Rs. 3950 per quintal.


Agro-Meteorological Services for Farmers:

  • Farmers are directly benefitted by the Agro-Meteorological Services provided through SMS and other modes for their day to day farming operations.About 7 million farmers were receiving information in Indian languages in 2014. About 21 million farmers are currently receiving AAS in vernacular languages.


Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana:

  • Promoting organic farming 2 lakhs hectare area under Organic Farming being covered Organic value chain for North Eastern States.

  • ‘Blue Revolution’: A Revolution in the Fisheries Sector:

  • Merged all the ongoing fisheries schemes under the umbrella of Blue Revolution.Insurance cover increased to Rs. 2 lakh from Rs. 1 lakh for accidental death and permanent disability.Average 4.90 lakh fishermen benefited annually under Saving-cum-Relief.


National Gokul Mission:

  • It aims at improving the breeds of indigenous cattle population. It aims at improving the Genetic stock of the Cattle and also at Milk Production and Dairy development.14 Gokul Grams are being established and 41 Bull Mother Farms modernized. Bulls have been inducted for natural service.Milk Production reached 155 MT.l Per capita availability of milk increased from 307 gram per day Number of Veterinary Colleges increased .


Performance of Dairy sector:

  • 24x7 Kisan Channel A 24X7 dedicated Kisan TV Channel for farmers. Development of New Technologies


5. Boosting Farmers Income through Efficient Cold-chain Network

5.1. Cold Chain Network

  • India is one of the largest producers as well as consumer of the food products. Domestically, the spending on food and food products is nearly 21% of GDP of country and constitutes largest portion of consumer spending more than 31% share of wallet.

  • Food processing industry in India is seen as potential source for driving industrial economy as it brings about synergy between the consumer, industry and agriculture.

  • A well-developed food processing industry is expected to increase farm prices, reduce wastages, ensure value addition, promote crop diversification, generate employment opportunities as well as export earnings, thereby helping farmers to increase their incomes.

  • The most important problem facing the Indian agricultural industry is the highly inefficient supply chain. Because of lack of cold chain infrastructure, and also food processing industry, about 50% of all foods produced in India are wasted. In order to facilitate and exploit the growth potential of the foods processing sector, the government has announced several policy measures for the cold chain infrastructure. To promote the private sector activity and invite foreign investments in the sector, the government allows 100% FDI in the food processing and cold chain infrastructure.

  • However, despite of continual efforts and initiatives of the government to provide the required stimulus to the sector, processing activity is still at a nascent stage in the country.

  • The inadequate support infrastructure which is the biggest bottleneck in expanding food processing sector includes

  • Long and fragmented supply chain

  • Inadequate cold storage and warehousing facilities with road, rail and port infrastructure

  • Greater extent of cold chain capacity and utilization for exports than for domestic markets.

  • A cold chain for perishable foods is the uninterrupted handling of the product within a low temperature environment during the post-harvest steps of the value chain including harvest, collection, packing, processing, storage, transport and marketing until it reaches the final consumer.

  • An integrated cold chain encompasses the management of the movement of perishable food products from the field, ranch or body of water through entire post-harvest chain to the final consumer.


Major segments of it are

  • 1. Packaging and cooling of fresh products

  • 2. Food processing i.e. freezing of certain processed foods

  • 3. Cold storage i.e. short or long term warehousing of chilled or frozen foods

  • 4. Distribution- cold transport and temporary warehousing under temperature controlled conditions

  • 5. Marketing- refrigerated or freezer storage and displays at wholesale markets, retail and food service operations.

  • The existing food distribution suffers from food losses due to lack of integrated cold-chains. In absence of cold storage facilities, the farmer is forced to sell their produce immediately after harvest which results in glut situations and low price realization.


Cold chain facilities provide following benefits

  • Reduces respiration- lessens perishability

  • Reduces transpiration- lessens water loss, less shriveling

  • Reduces ethylene production-slows ripening

  • Increases resistance to ethylene action

  • Decreases activity of micro organism

  • Reduces browning and loss of texture, flavour and nutrients

  • Delays ripening and natural senescence

  • Cold chains intrinsically serve as a marketing supply link for agricultural produce and hence directly impact the sustainability of the producers/farmers.

  • Global food losses have been documented 25-50% of total food production volumes.

  • The use of cold handling and storage systems as an investment to prevent perishable food losses is widely used and can be highly cost effective compared to continually increasing production to meet increasing demands for these foods.

  • UNFAO recently launched the ‘Save Food’ initiative which includes many partner organisations working on various means for reducing food losses and waste. Integrated cold chain enables the farmer groups to proactively connect to various demand centres and take advantage of recently launched NAM.

  • This allows for a greater geographical spread of markets by countering perishability and is key to gainful and improved value realisation for farmers.


A well-developed cold chain provides following benefits

  • Reducing post-harvest losses

  • Generate additional income for the farmers

  • Shifting the farmers to more market driven and profitable farming activities

  • Improving quality and hygiene and hygiene of food products.

  • Reducing supply chain costs

  • Reduce wastage of perishables, add value to agricultural produce and create huge employment opportunities in rural areas

  • Help in stabilizing prices of food products and contain inflation in the country.



  • The cold chain market is dominated by private companies despite the presence of state owned companies. The government has provided various incentives in tax and duties to encourage cold chain in the country. To develop a world class cold chain infrastructure, government and industry bodies need to work in collaboration to encourage the adoption of better and more efficient refrigeration technologies that can prolong the shelf life of food products and commensurate economic returns to the farmers in order to improve their economic benefits and ultimately their income.

  • Establishment of modern food supply chains for perishable food items not only minimizes the food losses but also empowers the farmers to reach across to more distant markets. Availability of cold storage facility to the farmer’ removes the risk of distress sale to ensure better returns.

Kurukshetra June 2017

bottom of page