Topic– Indian agriculture – issues
6) A recent OECD and ICRIER research has highlighted that despite higher positive inputs in comparison to global averages, Indian farmers have negative PSE. Critically examine whether focussing on e-NAM would bring a change in PSE of Indian farmers?(250 words)
Why this question
The article talks about an important research report which highlights that despite higher than average government support, those inputs are not getting transformed into corresponding income gain for the farmers. This calls for a paradigm shift in the way agriculture support is thought of and implemented. This question is thus important.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to discuss the findings of the report, examine the causes behind the lack of translation of government support into positive PSE. Thereafter we need to discuss whether promotion of e-NAM would bring about the desired impact, or whether we need simultaneous focus on different aspects to improve farmers situation.
Critically examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement. Here in the bad part, we have to write how focussing on e-NAM alone would not alleviate the issues, but an amalgamation of steps are required to bring about lasting change.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Highlight that a sizeable chunk of Indian LFPR finds employment in agriculture , which necessitates keen focus on how effective the government interventions have been.
- Discuss the findings of the report that says that despite positive input support, farmers output price realisation lags behind peer economies.
- Examine what might be the reasons. Highlight the shortcomings of governmental intervention through MSP and how it is unable to improve farmers situation across a variety of regions and crops. Discuss other support like fertilizer subsidy, insurance support, export policy etc and why they are not translating into desired outcomes.
- Discuss whether the shortcomings of APMC is one of the key reasons why farmers are not enjoying positive PSE. Examine whether success of e-NAM would ensure that farmers start enjoying apt price for their produce.
- Discuss how focussing on e-NAM alone would not be sufficient and requires a comprehensive approach as suggested by Shanta Kumar Committee, Niti Ayog report on smart agriculture etc
Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view on what should be the way forward.