The National Commission on Farmers (NCF) was constituted on November 18, 2004 under the chairmanship of Professor M.S. Swaminathan.
- Farmers need to have assured access and control over basic resources, which include land, water, bio resources, credit and insurance, technology and knowledge management, and markets. The NCF recommends that “Agriculture” be inserted in the Concurrent List of the Constitution.
- Establish a National Land Use Advisory Service, which would have the capacity to link land use decisions with ecological meteorological and marketing factors on a location and season specific basis.
- Set up a mechanism to regulate the sale of agricultural land, based on quantum of land, nature of proposed use and category of buyer.
- Increase water supply through rainwater harvesting and recharge of the aquifer should become mandatory. “Million Wells Recharge” programme, specifically targeted at private wells should be launched.
- Expand the outreach of the formal credit system to reach the really poor and needy.
- Reduce rate of interest for crop loans to 4 per cent simple, with government support.
- Restructure microfinance policies to serve as Livelihood Finance, i.e. credit coupled with support services in the areas of technology, management and markets.
- Cover all crops by crop insurance with the village and not block as the unit for assessment to avoid farmers suicide.
- Change is happening in rural India but it has still a long way to go.
- Agriculture has benefited from improved farming techniques but the growth is not equitable.
- Land use is changing in rural areas as farmers are getting good value for their holdings. The effort should be to stop the migration to urban areas.
- The number of essential commodities should be reduced to an absolute minimum, especially the non-food crops.