Topic– Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices
6) India needs to recognise that addressing farmers’ woes by raising procurement prices is going to have limited effectiveness. Critically analyze.(250 words)
Why this question
One of the key steps taken by the current government to improve the status of farmers is to increase procurement price. A recent OECD ICRIER report “Agricultural Policies in India” suggests a different way forward. Discussing the merits of the step taken by the government will help us in analyzing how the health of farm sector can be improved.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to discuss the merits of increasing the procurement price from a short term and a long term perspective. It expects us to analyze whether this is the most optimum utilisation of resources to improve the already stressed agricultural sector. Alternatives should be suggested along with reasons why they are better.
Critically analyze – When asked to analyze, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. You need to conclude with a fair judgement, after analyzing the nature of each component part and interrelationship between them.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Highlight the recent step taken by the government and how it has been a long standing suggestion starting from Swaminathan Committee recommendation.
- Discuss the merits of enhancing procurement price from a short and long term perspective. Good in the short term, but underline the challenges even in the short term (mostly the same as challenges with MSP, highlighted by Shanta Kumar Committee)
- Discuss how the optimum step would be to focus on improving backward and forward linkages along with other suggestions as made in the ICRIER study.
- Discuss why this would would make more sense (can also disagree and give reasons accordingly)
Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view along with way forward.