Farmer Welfare and Food Security: Milestones and Obstacles

Farmer Welfare and Food Security: Milestones and Obstacles

Question : Strengthening farmer welfare and food security are critical milestones for growth in the agrarian sector. Discuss how far the government has been successful in ensuring this.


• For providing relief to farmers harmed by unseasonal rains and prevent distress sales, quality norms for procurement have been made less stringent

• Centre has also decided to reimburse the amount of value cut on MSP so states get full MSP for crops which do not meet procurement requirements. This is the first time the Central Government has taken such a step

• Action plan is being finalised by FCI to provide better support price to farmers and agriculturalists in Eastern States such as Bihar, WB and Assam

• It also prevents distress sale and exploitation by middlemen, increasing farmer income and bringing prosperity to the region

• FCI has also worked out a procurement plan for pulses and oilseeds for farmers

• Miller’s levy has been brought down to 25% in the Kharif Marketing season 2014-2015 and abolished from October 2015 to ensure payment of MSP to paddy farmers

• Rules have been notified for payment of food security allowance when there is non delivery of food grains to the beneficiary

• Centre is also sharing 50% of the cost of handling and transportation of food grains (75% in case of hilly and difficult areas)and the dealer’s margin so that it is not passed on to the beneficiaries


• Farmers are burdened with expensive loans which they cannot pay back; adequate financing is missing

• Farmers rely excessively on the monsoon for irrigation; the uncertainty of the seasonal variations in rain impact food security and farmer welfare adversely

• Eliminating the middleman is hard; previously established channels of procurement and distribution are in place so that middlemen have a significant share in profits

• Farmers are not secured in case of crop failure; insurance needs of farmers must be met

Facts and Stats

• Paddy is being directly purchased from farmers to ensure their welfare

• During kharif marketing season 2013-2014, only 8.52 lakh MT of paddy was purchased directly from AP units but in 2014-2015, direct purchase of paddy from this region has gone up to 36/76 lakh MT

• Procurement of paddy in UP has also gone up to 18.18 lakh MR in current season and rice has gone up to 16.10 lakh MT

Kisaan Mandis have been set up for providing wider selling options to farmers
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