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

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Sustainable Agriculture in Maharashtra: Can the State Budget Offset Climate Vulnerability?

Losses faced by farmers due to consecutive drought years, frequent hailstorms, and unseasonal rain in the past decade were compounded by successive floods during the 2019–21 monsoon. The need to embed climate-resilient practices into agricultural interventions by the government was more acutely felt. Against this backdrop, this article looks at whether the Maharashtra budget has allocated adequately to sustainable agriculture and other community-based agricultural infrastructure development in the recent years. Data show that budgetary allocation towards sustainable agriculture schemes and other long-term, community-based infrastructure development programmes have fallen short. Although these schemes build long-term climate resilience of agriculture and allied sectors, allocations so far have been skewed towards short-term relief. Apart from refocusing on budgetary allocation for community-based infrastructure development schemes, directing attention towards allied sectors and wage employment is equally necessary to increase farmers’ income sustainably.

Dampening Sustainability

This paper has undergone quite a few revisions, and the author is thankful to many scholars, and colleagues at the Foundation for Agrarian Studies for their comments on multiple drafts.

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.

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