ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By D Suresh Kumar

Doubling India’s Farm Incomes

The Government of India aims to double farm incomes by 2022. A mechanism of payment for ecosystem services, which would compensate farmers for the value of the non-market agroecosystem services they produce, would address the issues of farm income and the deep ecological crisis in agriculture. This strategy would be within the fiscal ability of the government and would only use the existing allocation for agriculture. The institutional framework required to implement PES already exists. If properly implemented, PES could persuade Indian farmers to adopt ecologically sensitive agricultural practices which, in turn, could double farm income.

Managing the Water–Energy Nexus in Agriculture

Water management technologies, mainly micro-irrigation, help save water by 39% and energy by 58%. In 2025, the total demand for water in India is projected to be 886 billion cubic metre, and the total electricity demand 4,18,277 million kWh. Adoption of micro-irrigation is increasing at 1.22% per annum. If this growth rate continues, about 8.8 million hectares will be under micro-irrigation in 2025, and 24 bcm of water and 3,598 MkWh of electricity will be saved annually. To boost adoption, the government should promote cost-effective micro-irrigation system designs, simplify subsidy norms, and strengthen capacity-building programmes for farmers.

Payment for Ecosystem Services

Paying farmers for ecosystem services that they provide could be a novel way to achieve multiple goals of doubling the farm incomes, reduce rural–urban migration, reduce pressure on urban infrastructure, and at the same time, incentivise sustainable agrarian practices in India.